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Power cord realities and illusions

68.230.68.125

Posted on June 17, 2010 at 20:00:21
We demand a detachable power cord on our components. Why should a component designer try to isolate his system from external noise when the audiophile is so willing to do it for him? I mean let's get real some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system and upgrading power cords is a requirement to get the best sound.

This is mostly a design decision, the manufacturer can slap the receptical and the back and save money on isolating the power supply. He can sell the gear for higher profits and reap the benefits of buyers believing his gear is so resolving it deserves the added expenditure.

I might concede that such an option should be available but I can't for the life of me think such an option, ie. an upgraded power cord, should make a difference in most situations.

But of course it does and hey why should we dis the component makers for maximizing their profits at our expensve especially when we believe the stuff we are buying needs the upgrades because it is so good.

Its a joke and an embarrassment that audiophiles have been led to believe such garbage. Unfortunately it's real and not an illusion. I just wish audiophiles had a better handle on this issue than the more resolving means more noise crap some of you have been spewing around here for years.

Get a clue!

 

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    ...
There is a less sinister motive., posted on June 17, 2010 at 21:20:25
rick_m
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And that is with a decent switching power supply (or provision for selecting input voltage) and a detachable power cord one unit can be sold internationally if you can afford to do the safety stuff. Have you ever counted the number of safety symbols on labels these days?

Susceptibility-wise with no standards what do you design to? Meeting CE helps but is not remotely a promise that performance won't be compromised by other components. Susceptibility-wise in CE countries you have at least a little knowledge of the W/C conducted levels, for the US you don't have anything except Part15 radiated, we simply have no required conducted standards. AND the whole mess is complicated by the difficulty of figuring out what figures of merit would be useful to predict user's perception of interference problems.

Isolation-wise I think the situation more straightforward at least you can breakup the in-band ground loop at your end in-band to the degree you wish. Out of band it's harder to know what's required. In every case you can't really guarantee results but can dramatically improve the odds.

I realize that for the sake of argument I've been taking the manufacturer's side just now. Switching gears I think most of them could do better, a lot better.

Rick

 

"...some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system", posted on June 18, 2010 at 04:24:07
robert young
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Could you explain how you have reached that conclusion? I can't find a single post where anyone here has claimed that. I'll give you the opportunity to explain, but I have a suspicion that it is a strawman that appeared due to some faulty logic.


"I might concede that such an option should be available but I can't for the life of me think such an option, ie. an upgraded power cord, should make a difference in most situations."

Well, there you are. The option should be available, as you concede. I can't think of any component that doesn't come with a power cord, and that cord is usually fine for many situations (just as you suggest). What's wrong with giving someone the option of an alternate for those situations where it might make a difference (as your statement also acknowledges is possible)? Even then, it isn't usually the case that the amp manufacturer is making money from the guy who buys an "upgraded" power cord.

Here's another side (one that your EE side might be able to delve into). Ask yourself this: why do desktop computer manufacturers provide the very same option?


"I just wish audiophiles had a better handle on this issue than the more resolving means more noise crap some of you have been spewing around here for years."

Where do you get this stuff? "More resolving means more noise????" If you think that is what Tony was stating in the entertaining thread below, then you either truly don't understand what you read, or you choose to be ignorant. Personally, I think it is both: even if you could understand it, I think you would still choose not to.

 

RE: "...some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system", posted on June 18, 2010 at 06:40:48
rick_m
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Mmmmm, I too have read a fair number of posts along the line of: 'If you can't hear the differences between powercords then your system lacks resolution.' Beyond a general insult I suspect that a particular aspect of performance is lodged in the mind of the writer, but there it lies, unrevealed to the rest of us. Just WHAT is being resolved and is there any reason to think that the power cord must make a difference? So sadly DT isn't just inventing it.

Perhaps it isn't obvious to everyone that they shouldn't matter as long as they can deliver the power. Which of course doesn't mean that they don't matter, merely that they shouldn't. The crux of the matter is that home audio systems are poorly specified and controlled so no one can really say if something is working good enough or not because 'good enough' is an unknown.

Rick

 

We have a winner folks!, posted on June 18, 2010 at 07:39:16
E-Stat
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I've never seen another post where more straw men were built and summarily burned. :)

...some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system...

He can sell the gear for higher profits and reap the benefits of buyers believing his gear is so resolving it deserves the added expenditure.

...than the more resolving means more noise crap some of you have been spewing around here for years.


Just too funny.

rw

 

Pure nonsense on so many levels - it's not even worth responding to. N/T, posted on June 18, 2010 at 08:21:22
carcass93
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N/T

 

Not sure you got my point..., posted on June 18, 2010 at 13:23:18
robert young
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I was criticizing Don's butchery of logic in both this post as well as in twisting Tony Lauck's comments below into something far from what was actually said.

"I too have read a fair number of posts along the line of: 'If you can't hear the differences between powercords then your system lacks resolution.' "

Yes, I have as well. But that is NOT what Don keeps writing. Here's what he wrote: "some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system."

Don has this a bit screwy. "Susceptibility" signifies nothing other than "susceptibility." As Tony and others have stated clearly in the thread below, SOME systems can be susceptible to external noise. They certainly don't need to be "high resolution" to be susceptible. All of Al McHogan is dead, but only some of the class of dead people are Al McHogan.

The rest of what you say, well, I'm with you!

 

Another point of view..., posted on June 18, 2010 at 13:28:55
robert young
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Can you guess who this is from?

"Too bad the "high resolution system" owners have such low
resolution ears & prefer lower resolution speakers
------------------------------
"Low resolution hearing" reflected by public demonstrations of their
claimed listening skills under controlled liostening conditions (brand
names hidden and A-B volumes matched).

'My equipment is better than your equipment' is the quip of an ignorant
audiophile with big-ego issues. The sound quality of audio equipment is
much more than a high price -- sound quality and resolution are strongly
influenced by room acoustics (the most important component of all) and
speaker locations/listener location within a room.

All other things equal, near field speakers will provide more resolution
than distant speakers, and good headphones can provide the best possible
resolution ... but most audiophiles prefer the lower resolution sound of
distant speakers."

The RBNG Auto-bot momentarily returned....;)

 

RE: Not sure you got my point..., posted on June 18, 2010 at 15:23:36
rick_m
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"Yes, I have as well. But that is NOT what Don keeps writing. Here's what he wrote: "some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system." Don has this a bit screwy. "Susceptibility" signifies nothing other than "susceptibility."

I agree with your statement about susceptibility but I think he's right and that some people DO think sensitivity to cables is indicative of a highly resolving system and not being one of them that he's trying to disabuse them of that notion. Which is hard because they are sort of right in that if something in the system is working poorly enough that it dominates the performance more subtle things get lost. I've only read parts of the thread and may have missed the gestalt, will correct that.

Absolutes rarely reflect the situation. Al McHogan has no brain activity but he's still beating and breathing. Is he dead or just a politician?

Rick

 

RE: Power cord realities and illusions, posted on June 18, 2010 at 17:39:55
tomservo
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I find it interesting the level of self confidence / pride that some exhibit, assuming that those who don’t hear what they do, don’t have “enough resolution” on one side of the tympanic membrane or the other.

I have to admit I while I did have a hand in tube power amplifier design in the late 70’s (before the advent of IEC power connectors), I have never been in a comparison test of power cords, this being a more recent phenomena.

In the three speaker wire tests I have been in, I found a rather curious thing.
The attendees who brought their exotic cables and tried them, ALL of them heard the properties they had been hearing at home when compared to the 25 feet of hardware store lamp cord.
They went back and forth finding musical passages that made the difference most easy to detect.

THEN everything changed, well really only one thing changed. What changed was the lights on the switcher which indicated which wire was being used no longer came on.
From then on, no one knew which wire was which and that was the only change.
From then on, no one was able to tell a difference between A or B and when the indicator light was turned back on, what were “obvious big differences” were admittedly very small and the experience invariably humbling to the proud who never actually tried it or were dead sure there was a big difference with X.

Understand, the cop out of “ not enough resolution” wouldn’t apply as the attendees strongly “heard” the properties of the samples they brought listening extensively first. It was only when the light that told which was which being disabled, that prevented them from “hearing” the properties.

This is why when you get your hearing tested, that they don’t have a red light go on with the sound because you would “hear” much better.
Since there is no way to tell which side of the tympanic membrane a given detection arises from, a test where you remove any knowledge of the answer, forces the result to be based on sound arriving at your ears and not what you know or expect.
You can’t fake a hearing test as the only clue is sound and you hear it or not. As with speaker wire tests, if what you heard when you knew which was which went away without prior knowledge, then as real as it seemed, that was an internal artifact unrelated to anything external your eardrum. Of course none of this critical examination / testing helps sell any aftermarket stuff so there is a down side.



 

I'll try again..., posted on June 18, 2010 at 18:17:59
robert young
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"I agree with your statement about susceptibility but I think he's right and that some people DO think sensitivity to cables is indicative of a highly resolving system and not being one of them that he's trying to disabuse them of that notion."

Rick, he didn't say what you think he said. If he had, I'd have no real bones to pick with him. He said, "...some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system."

Mote that he did NOT say "sensitivity to cables." He said "susceptibility to external noise." Those two things are hardly the same. One makes sense, the other is nonsense.

 

So, posted on June 18, 2010 at 19:15:56
E-Stat
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I have never been in a comparison test of power cords...

You have no experience in the topic at hand.

What changed was the lights on the switcher...

More than likely, the switcher shared a common ground where you were comparing all the cables to all the cables regardless of the position or you had some spectacular pops when switching was done.

rw

 

RE: So, posted on June 18, 2010 at 20:18:29
tomservo
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“You have no experience in the topic at hand.”
In that I have never done this test with power cords, no
If you mean am I familiar with human nature or hearing and designing electronics for audio or space shuttle use and it’s emi/rfi requirements, or if my current job for the last 15 years designing loudspeakers requires an in depth understanding and measurement of the same things and also requires critical listening, then Yes.

Relevant to this, I have been involved with a number of such tests of both speaker cables and amplifiers, at least with amplifiers, there were some differences one could still reliably hear “without knowing” .
Until such a test is done with power cables, it is highly possible they would be subject to the same wishful expectations internal to ones ears vs external, like most of the cable testers were.

“More than likely, the switcher shared a common ground where you were comparing all the cables to all the cables regardless of the position or you had some spectacular pops when switching was done.”

Not at all, the lights were small, battery powered, connected to a dedicated set of the relay contacts, there was no sound other than the contactor / relay switching.
It really was exactly as I described, after being "clear", essentially no one could identify the special cables they brought vs zip cord after the indicators were switched off.

Fwiw, all one needs are a pair of DPDT relays with 25 Amp contacts and appropriate power supply and on/off toggle switch and 4 or 6 sets of speaker terminals or AC receptacles, you can be fancy and add the lights with a pair of 3PDT relays (less common as surplus). Make similar unit wired with twisted pair, in a metal case with RCA connectors and you can compare audio cables too.
With a program like ARTA, you can measure “it” to see what it looks like relative to cable etc.

"Do you have experience in the topic at hand?"
Have you ever tried listening with out prior knowledge and depended entirely on your ears?
That is what blind testing is .

 

Please describe, posted on June 18, 2010 at 20:53:18
E-Stat
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...connected to a dedicated set of the relay contacts, there was no sound other than the contactor / relay switching.

your control process that supports your assumption that the switch box has zero crosstalk which would affect the results.


Make similar unit wired with twisted pair, in a metal case with RCA connectors and you can compare audio cables too.

Frank Van Alstine has already done that and determined that you are indeed comparing all cables to all cables. Once again, what is your control?

Have you ever tried listening with out prior knowledge and depended entirely on your ears?

Yes. An entirely without using untested devices never used in normal listening which are merely presumed to have no effect. I will be most interested in your control procedure.

rw


 

RE: I'll try again..., posted on June 19, 2010 at 06:48:26
rick_m
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"Mote that he did NOT say "sensitivity to cables." He said "susceptibility to external noise." Those two things are hardly the same. One makes sense, the other is nonsense. "

OK. Look, I'm not currently (or voltagely) very knowledgeable about audiophile power cables. I haven't noticed much affect from power cables but haven't looked very hard either so my own experience is a null. However I've read enough on AA to know that there is much concern that they may radiate, receive or reflect noise and RFI both incoming and outgoing. I'm convinced that it's established in the minds of many that cable performance and 'noise' are correlated and so I see no conflict in Don's statements.

One of the things that I believe (and I believe that Don believes) is that in general issues of the power cables affecting equipment performance are best addressed at the equipment end with the exception of perhaps using shielded cables to reduce electrostatic coupling to signal cables.

When it comes right down to it, unless we start measuring what's going on the whole argument is bootless. In some systems power cables may be a factor due to their effect on noise coupling, in others they may be a factor due to their impedance interacting with the rectifiers, in others they may not be a significant factor at all as long as they get the AC to the device.

Stereo systems are SYSTEMS yet at the component level the interfaces are inadequately specified to insure them playing well together. Messing with the cables is unfortunately the main tool available to most users to try and make possibly disparate items into a whole. But they are an especially poor place to work on most power related issues in my book.

Rick

 

RE: Please describe, posted on June 19, 2010 at 06:58:17
tomservo
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“your control process that supports your assumption that the switch box has zero crosstalk which would affect the results.”
Like I said one can measure what effect the switcher has / examine it via measurement. At low impedance's like speaker cables, cross talk is essentially non-existent (too small to hear / measure).

“Frank Van Alstine has already done that and determined that you are indeed comparing all cables to all cables. Once again, what is your control?”
Not sure how he would have gotten credit for such an old idea but the strength of it is you are comparing one item to another without knowing which is which.

When as happened often that people went from “hearing it clearly” to not at all when the only change was the indicators working or not, that strongly suggests they were all lying to begin with (golden ear confidence) or what they heard was not connected to the airborne / audible part of the experience.
Without having tried this, I am not sure how certain you can be that it isn’t a real effect, as it applies to all other areas of sensory input testing including hearing tests..

You ask several times what is your control? It sounds like you might be familiar with scientific testing yet in informal subjective listening cable proponent’s use, none whatsoever exists.

How did you accomplish “An entirely without using untested devices never used in normal listening which are merely presumed to have no effect.” and still be able to compare A vs B rapidly and without any prior knowledge as is required?
At the very crudest level of testing one can have a person switch back and forth but as in other testing, there is a strong possibility of the case being telegraphed, hence electronic switching with relays.
If you are concerned that the switch is audible, go back and forth having someone else manually switch the cables to bypass / remove it and see.

Remember the basis of a part of hifi marketing is the same as many other commercial products, they don't always have to work to have a devoted following.
If this wasn't the case, we wouldn't have magic knobs, magic stones and myriad of other subjective only products to separate a person from his coins. Testing without prior knowledge is one of the only ways to tell if the effect is internal or external to your eardrums, weather or not your its your ears or brain that "hears" something.
The first step is to acknowledge how your brain / ears work together.



 

Theory is great, posted on June 19, 2010 at 07:11:08
E-Stat
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Like I said one can measure...

How close were the capacitance and inductance values with and without the switch between the various cables?

Not sure how he would have gotten credit for such an old idea...

You're missing the point. Due to the necessity of having a common ground, you are in fact comparing the sum of all the separate cable's characteristics for each and every selection. In other words, the switch is NOT comparing one cable to another. It is comparing all the cables together to all the cables together. Worthless.

...yet in informal subjective listening cable proponent’s use, none whatsoever exists.

Proctored SBTs work pretty well and eliminate the continually unsubstantiated - and refuted *theory* that the boxes involve no relevant changes to the test.


If this wasn't the case, we wouldn't have magic knobs, magic stones ...

There really is no need to introduce straw men arguments to one on cables. While you have zero experience comparing power cables, many others have. A number of studios and award winning recording engineers find they offer value. Guys who have compared PCs. Perhaps you might try that some day.

The first step is to acknowledge how your brain / ears work together.

The second step is to avoid speculation and when a test uses some added component, one must first prove that the added component is not the cause of the (lack of) variance.

rw

 

RE: Theory is great, posted on June 19, 2010 at 08:00:16
E-Stat, you seem determined to keep ignoring the elephant in the room on this one.

The one point I drew from reading (and rereading) this is that when a light was present that indicated which cable was in use, the proclamations regarding power cord differences were quite grand.

When the light was disabled, things became far less certain.

It did not appear to me that anything else in the test setup regarding the switching process changed.

I suppose one could have some exotic theory about the effect of the power consumed or emitted by the light impacting the cables but that requires ignoring something that is actually consistently demonstrated in humans - subjective bias. One has to ignore a well established effect and go looking for obscure explanations.

That doesn't mean it can't be, but as suggested by Occam's Razor, the odds do not favor the elaborate when a simpler explanation accounts for the situation.

Simply put, as the visibility and knowledge of the items under test in an audio comparison becomes lower, the language used to describe differences also becomes less dramatic.

That does not mean there are no differences, but the scale certainly changes.

 

Rick, seriously, it is the logic that is flawed...It isn't about cables, or noise, its about a tortured logic., posted on June 19, 2010 at 08:01:15
robert young
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I agree with most of what you write. You need to step back from the technical conversation about systems and cables and noise and analyze the meaning of Don's statement again: "I mean let's get real some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system..."

This sentence means: "Some people believe that a system is high-resolution IF that system is susceptible to external noise." That is pure nonsense. No one on this forum has made that claim. It has, however, been stated that resistance to external noise is not a prerequisite for a system to be high-resolution, as some system installations are not subject to external noise (for example, I have a battery-powered system in a cabin in Maine where there aren't any microwave ovens or cell phones. Not that it is "high-res," but there aren't external noise issues as part of the total system (equipment plus physical context).)

I have been laughing at the logical mash-up of Don's recent posts, not necessarily their implied content.

When it was said that to be considered high-res a system didn't have to be resistant to the effects of external noise, Don reinterpreted that to mean that a system HAD TO BE SUSCEPTIBLE to exterior noise to be high-res. Do you see that interpretive accident?

Don has constructed a strawman either through his neglect of the basics of logic, or through willfully twisting words to draw for himself an easier target. He does a great disservice to Tony with his falsely-based attacks below, and he does a great disservice to the value of the debate here, as he fabricates an opponent where there is none, and constructs an impediment to rational discussion where there should be none.

 

"That does not mean there are no differences, but the scale certainly changes. ", posted on June 19, 2010 at 08:02:21
E-Stat
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That I'll buy. Not the original post title.

rw

 

"That does not mean there are no differences, but the scale certainly changes.", posted on June 19, 2010 at 08:15:52
robert young
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I agree. However, that is rarely what is posited by either "side" in this never-ending debate.

There seems to be a confusion between anger and frustration at the "the change blew my socks off!" crowd, and the "audible differences are possible" crowd. The absurdity of the quantitative aspects of the claim do not dismiss the potential qualitative aspects of the claim. Having an argument about the size of the pink elephant may interest some of you guys, but I'm interested in the claim of there being a pink elephant of any size in the room...;)

 

RE: Theory is great, posted on June 19, 2010 at 09:03:43
tomservo
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“How close were the capacitance and inductance values with and without the switch between the various cables?”

As I recall, the total capacitance was equal to about 3-4 inches of the least capacitive cable or about 60K ohms capacitive reactance at 20KHz paralleled with a 5 ohm speaker in parallel with a ~.05 ohm source, while the series L was somewhat less in proportion. In other simpler words, the cables were typically several orders of magnitude larger so far as changes they imparted via electrical properties.

“You're missing the point. Due to the necessity of having a common ground, you are in fact comparing the sum of all the separate cable's characteristics for each and every selection. In other words, the switch is NOT comparing one cable to another. It is comparing all the cables together to all the cables together. Worthless.”

Worthless is easy to say but....
Your argument would hold some weight if that were actually the case, using a dpdt relay eliminates the need to leave the ground side in the circuit. As I described, one can even go in stereo with a 4pdt relay and switch both channels, both conductors.

“There really is no need to introduce straw men arguments to one on cables. While you have zero experience comparing power cables, many others have. A number of studios and award winning recording engineers find they offer value. Guys who have compared PCs. Perhaps you might try that some day.”

It is no straw man but the understanding of human perception and electronics that argues for this kind of test. The same fallibility is why such things as the Kinoki foot pad had many many supporters even though the gunk it was supposed to remove via your foot, was actually contained within the pad and did nothing for you other than what you imagined.

Further, if you look at the largest selling brands in nearly any area (including audio) you will find evidence that a dollar spent marketing the impression of science, creating an image produces more sales than a dollar spent on R&D. What you can be lead to believe is the key of much performance in marketing unless you measure.

The fact is what one believes or thinks is such a powerful factor that drug development was stymied until testing without prior knowledge was devised.
How many areas where a serious answer is needed, is the test taker allowed to know the answers before and during the test?

While audio is not a life and death subject, it doesn’t mean that in that one area alone, the workings of the sensory system follows a different set of rules than everywhere else in known science, it doesn't.

Rather, one need only admit there is even ONE product sold based on that fallibility and suggestion to open the door to considering others might exist, even if in a hifi marketing sacred area like wire..

Once skeptical, it is no surprise to recognize that the people who refuse to consider such testing as potentially valid, generally line up in the way the mfr’s who sell same would prefer / promote.

Conversely, you will find few if any people supporting that, selling anything based on this head effect.

So, why would that be? (that the people who support blind testing generally do not sell products or products which depend on that belief?).


"Theory is great"
Well i suppose it is, depending on the depth of understanding, it has allowed our electronically enhanced world to be deliberately designed, for the design process to become a science instead of alchemy.

 

"As I recall, the total capacitance was equal to about 4 inches of the least capacitive cable ", posted on June 19, 2010 at 09:19:12
E-Stat
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I wasn't referring to the box by itself. That is one of the fallacies of testing. Unsupported assumptions become part of the test. I was referring to measuring a cable by itself and at the other end of the box with the other cables connected. Perfect, crosstalk free switches? No control was done on the systematic changes introduced by the testing arrangement.

It is no straw man...

to introduce bogus topics like magic rocks to somehow bolster an unsubstantiated process? Sorry, I disagree.

...how would this not be a potential when comparing power cords with knowledge?

There is potential with that along with poor, assumption based testing methodologies. Roger Russell assumes that there is nothing more important to the sound quality of a speaker wire working in a system than merely a five percent variation in impedance. Brad Meyer assumes that his ADC/DAC Redbook bypass SACD test is all that is important for detecting the capabilities of high resolution digital recordings. They don't know what they don't know - yet preach the outcome as gospel. Is that what you support?

rw

 

RE: Theory is great, posted on June 19, 2010 at 09:22:33
tomservo
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The one point I drew from reading (and rereading) this is that when a light was present that indicated which cable was in use, the proclamations regarding power cord differences were quite grand.

When the light was disabled, things became far less certain.

It did not appear to me that anything else in the test setup regarding the switching process changed.

I suppose one could have some exotic theory about the effect of the power consumed or emitted by the light impacting the cables but that requires ignoring something that is actually consistently demonstrated in humans - subjective bias. One has to ignore a well established effect and go looking for obscure explanations.

100% spot on.
I would not say there are no differences but rather in order to separate what you want or know from what you hear, a test without knowledge is about the only way to remove the internal input part..
Then, the results, what you hear with ears alone, is what you actually hear as a result of air motion component.

Sure you can do the test wrong or cheat and that is no more informative or accurate than not testing at all.

 

RE: "That does not mean there are no differences, but the scale certainly changes.", posted on June 19, 2010 at 09:57:59
kerr
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>Having an argument about the size of the pink elephant may interest some of you guys, but I'm interested in the claim of there being a pink elephant of any size in the room...;)<

Well stated! All I've ever really claimed was that all cables do NOT sound the same, including some that are perfectly acceptable via measurements for a home audio system. This I know to be a fact. If the differences are too small for many people to worry about, that's a personal assessment, not an all-encompassing fact. People around here seem to confuse the two regularly! :)

 

RE: "As I recall, the total capacitance was equal to about 4 inches of the least capacitive cable ", posted on June 19, 2010 at 10:17:01
tomservo
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“I wasn't referring to the box by itself. That is one of the fallacies of testing. Unsupported assumptions become part of the test. I was referring to measuring a cable by itself and at the other end of the box with the other cables connected. Perfect, crosstalk free switches? No control was done on the systematic changes introduced by the testing arrangement.”

First understand what I am saying;
That in engineering, no one claims wires do nothing, but do claim that what wires do is measurable and follows existing theory and the sum of the effect can be examined by comparing the signals at either end.

Those electrical properties causing the change can be measured like in all other areas of electronics by examining the cable open circuit and closed at the far end with a network analyzer is the norm and that this understanding was key in making our telephone systems work.

That the polarized simplistic situation as presented in modern hifi lore, where there are two camps, the meter readers and golden ears, is one THEY constructed to help sell product.

“to introduce bogus topics like magic rocks to somehow bolster an unsubstantiated process? Sorry, I disagree.”

Perhaps you have not tried to address folklore with science or research before, while the demonstrations using exotic speaker wire were the ones I attended, the idea of saying speaker cables have very very small audible differences, would be more heretical than something more can relate to, like magic rocks, magic knobs, pointy feet and so on.


“They don't know what they don't know - yet preach the outcome as gospel. Is that what you support?”

Nope, you get the results the test gives, the test at best can only answer the question it asked. I don’t write in magazines, I am not selling anything to the home market, I have done R&D in electronics and acoustics most of my life and aside from here, don’t promote “my view” of how it is.
My success has been based in finding new ways to do things, often based on measured results so I deliberately don’t pay much attention to what others do.
My specialty now is in horn loaded speaker systems and passive crossovers but used to be in transducer design.. I have couple patents covering RF electromagnetic levitation, acoustic levitation and a number of new types of loudspeaker transducers horns and speaker systems too.

Background noises;
http://www.google.com/patents?q=Tom+Danley&btnG=Search+Patents

While its true I have nothing to do with hifi marketing other than listening to and building speakers being a hobby / living much of my life, I do have some relevant background in the principals involved and have nothing to gain by trying to “trick you”, nothing you want for sale.
Can that be said for the promoters of the other side of the argument?
Best,
Tom

 

RE: "That does not mean there are no differences, but the scale certainly changes. ", posted on June 19, 2010 at 11:15:12
Tony Lauck
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If one adopts a "good enough" attitude in selecting individual components there is a real risk that one will end up with a system that is not good enough.

If a difference can not easily pass a rigorous blind test then it is probably not sonically significant. Unfortunately, if one uniformly discounts "insignificant" differences, then one may end up with a system that contains the sum of many small "insignificant" differences and one may have a system that is significantly degraded. The problem is that "sounds the same" is not a transitive relation. A can sound the same as B and B can sound the same as C, but there may be an obvious difference in sound when comparing A and C.

Perhaps this is one reason why the best sound is found in the homes of deluded crazy "audiophools". The "sounds the same to me" and "theory says it must sound the same" crowd end up with mediocrity.

Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

 

I will definitely agree, posted on June 19, 2010 at 11:21:11
E-Stat
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Nope, you get the results the test gives...

Most folks don't appreciate that fact. Certainly not the two individuals I cited. Nor dialtones like RBNG.

Those electrical properties causing the change can be measured like in all other areas of electronics by examining the cable open circuit and closed at the far end with a network analyzer.

I'm not saying controls cannot be conducted. In practice, however, they simple aren't. Period. Not by anyone. Why would you need to test a researcher's arrogant assumption? You continue to dodge the issue that the *test* you gave as evidence is likewise control free.

Can that be said for the promoters of the other side of the argument?

When it is a cable manufacturer or dealer, no. When it is another speaker designer, amplifier designer, recording engineer, or audio reviewer for which there is no inherent predisposition, then the answer is yes. Why would Carl Marchisotto, Luke Manley, Jud Barber, Roger West, et. al. or any other non-cable manufacturer use something other than *perfect* zip cord?

I agree that with virtually all components, the level of improvement at the high end follows rapidly diminishing returns. I've never been "blown away" by cables. The added level of realism the better ones afford has put a smile on my face on many an occasion though. :)

rw

 

RE: Rick, seriously, it is the logic that is flawed...It isn't about cables, or noise, its about a tortured logic., posted on June 19, 2010 at 12:17:03
rick_m
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Well, OK. I suspect what makes the logic tortured is the lack of shared understanding of what 'resolution' and 'noise' mean.

Guess it beats arguing about DBT's...

Rick

 

Agreed, posted on June 19, 2010 at 12:20:33
E-Stat
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If a difference can not easily pass a rigorous blind test then it is probably not sonically significant.

Other than codec type tests where the only variable is which computer-controlled source file is played, are you aware of any double blind test ever peddled here that could be considered "rigorous", i.e. controlled and not governed by unproven assumptions? I certainly cannot. Your buddy E Brad doesn't understand the control concept, takes a Scarlet O'Hara "I'll worry about that tomorrow" approach or demonstrates a "I can't hear you - la la la la la la" stance. When every recording engineer has compared the direct feed of a recording through multiple resolutions and found Redbook lacking, why would E Brad ever consider that his test is fatally flawed?

The most amusing cases of control-and-logic-failure have come from our dear departed inmate Soundmind, aka SM. Don't know if your were here before his anti-social behavior got him banned here (elsewhere as well). He was a unique combination of one part engineer (not audio at that), ten parts music listener (he had a wonderful grasp of classical music), ten parts arrogance, twenty parts pomposity and another ten parts of ignorance. The first example is his "proof" that a cable is audibly perfect:

I are intelligent

Obviously, SM doesn't consider that in the real world, cables interact with sources and amplifiers that aren't in a buffer loop. Obviously, SM doesn't consider that some cables reject RFI better than others when in proximity to high concentration generators, i.e. CD/SACD players. Obviously, SM doesn't understand the circular reasoning of his assumption that because all of the $2 cables in his system are perfect, that his system itself couldn't affect the outcome. Perfect and arrogant ignorance.

The other example is explained in a series of deleted posts where he never addressed my observations, but used similar logical fallacies. He used two mediocre preamps, a Marantz 3800 and an H-K Citation 11 (I owned one of those myself thirty some years ago). He *determined* that both were audibly perfect because - and this is priceless - that because when he piped one of them through the other using his $2 interconnects, he couldn't tell any difference. Conclusion: both are audibly perfect!

I am willing to discuss these topics with anyone who demonstrates intellectual honesty. No doubt, we will see yet another fleeting appearance of one who most does not fit that description. :)

rw

 

RE: Agreed, posted on June 19, 2010 at 12:29:26
Tony Lauck
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"When every recording engineer has compared the direct feed of a recording through multiple resolutions and found Redbook lacking, why would E Brad ever consider that his test is fatally flawed?"


Most, perhaps. But not all. E Brad is a recording engineer, but I haven't heard any examples of his work.

Sorry to be picky.

Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

 

A perfect example is to notice the evolution , posted on June 19, 2010 at 12:30:11
E-Stat
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of two different amplifier brands: Bryston and Pass Labs. Bryston has always been known as cable insensitive given its pro leanings, but previously produced some typically lower resolution hard sounding AB amplifiers. With the latest batch of products like the 28B, however, they are beginning to get the resolution thing. Pass Labs and Nelson Pass in particular, has always focused on simple, high quality topologies known for producing high resolution output. Only recently, however, has his designs been more stringent in the power supply noise rejection issue caused by RFI.

The two products have converged from opposite priorities.

rw

 

That begs the obvious question, posted on June 19, 2010 at 12:33:43
E-Stat
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Why the hell would he bother with such a convoluted pipe-content-through-a-series-of-external-converters approach rather than directly comparing the same high quality feed through multiple native recording resolutions?

It makes no sense whatsoever. I am constantly amused by the contrived and indirect "kiss your elbow" test procedures some engineers go to in order to prove a point. His failed.

rw

 

Maslow's Hammer?, posted on June 19, 2010 at 13:34:37
Tony Lauck
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"Why the hell would he bother with such a convoluted pipe-content-through-a-series-of-external-converters approach rather than directly comparing the same high quality feed through multiple native recording resolutions?"

Maslow's Hammer?

This was done some time ago, before the era of computer audio and widespread hi-res PCM recordings, high quality sample rate converter software, and widespread studio quality DACs. Sony and the RIAA can also be blamed for the SACD copy protection requiring the use of the "analog hole". Also, he had a hardware ABX box.


Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

 

"Some time ago", posted on June 19, 2010 at 13:50:21
E-Stat
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This was done some time ago, before the era of computer audio and widespread hi-res PCM recordings

Is that how you would characterize 2007?

We're all deaf

rw

 

Thanks!, posted on June 19, 2010 at 14:21:26
kerr
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It was great taking a trip down memory lane! Ol' Andy19191 really cracked me up - and not just me, but some RE's as well. That was a hoot! Thanks! I do need to check the archives more often when I'm feeling blue. That cheered me right up! lol

 

RE: "Some time ago", posted on June 19, 2010 at 14:55:49
Tony Lauck
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2007 was the publication date. I don't know when the actual experiments were performed. Thanks to the AES I would have to pay to download the copy of the paper that popped up on Google and unfortunately Brad mailed me a copy in hard copy a while back and I've misplaced it. I assume the paper itself will tell when the work was done, or at least the submission date of the paper to JAES.



Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

 

If you recall, posted on June 19, 2010 at 16:05:17
E-Stat
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E Brad was comparing Redbook to SACD - which has been around for a decade now. If that's news to him, then he's not exactly with the plan.

rw

 

"A test without knowledge", posted on June 19, 2010 at 16:07:07
E-Stat
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and a test devoid of externally produced distortions only presumed to be perfect.

rw

 

Get a clue, Don, no one cares what you think is true. nt, posted on June 19, 2010 at 17:43:27
Norm
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a

 

A clue? Geez Norm you care and you care enough to respond!, posted on June 20, 2010 at 08:53:02
But I gotta be honest with you Norm this has been one of your more technically challenging postings.

The fact you bother to post at all is all one needs to know to know you do care.

I had to think a tiny bit about it in order to come up with a cognitive response.

On the other hand your normal prestigious panel of PHDs in physics responses are revealled as horse dung with no more than a sniff.

 

As I said. nt, posted on June 20, 2010 at 11:50:34
Norm
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a

 

You're really grasping at straws., posted on June 20, 2010 at 16:53:41
Pat D
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Tom has shot down you're contentions about common grounds, but you don't give up. Most significantly, you haven't shown controlled testing to show that power cords (and some other things) make an audible difference in a sensible application.

You are reduced to saying that, maybe, with more controls in a different test, audible differences *might* show up. But this no one denies, not RBNG, not me, not jj. What is singularly lacking is positive results.

All you can appeal is worthless anecdotal evidence.

"Why would Carl Marchisotto, Luke Manley, Jud Barber, Roger West, et. al. or any other non-cable manufacturer use something other than *perfect* zip cord?"

It's up to them and other cable proponents to tell us why. I can certainly think of all sorts of possible reasons--biased perceptions, wishful thinking, etc. If you complain about blind tests that have been done, well, sighted tests are worthless for establishing audible differences where the differences are near threshold, though they are a way of forming preferences.
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

If you recall, posted on June 20, 2010 at 18:30:58
E-Stat
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Tom has shot down you're contentions about common grounds

For speaker wires, perhaps. And admits that his test is control-free. He has no idea as to whether or not the box dumbs down the test. We'll set validity aside. He continues to speculate about interconnects leading to active power amps where Frank Van Alstine has different experience. Test question: what happens when you plug interconnects from a powered up preamp to a powered up power amplifier? Got a clue? Can you tell us any manufacturer's who recommend this procedure?

Most significantly, you haven't shown controlled testing to show that power cords (and some other things) make an audible difference in a sensible application.

Who gives a crap? Certainly not the recording and audio professionals (not in the cable business) who use them every day. They don't share your lack of exposure and confidence in what you hear. Join Tom in your speculation all you please.

All you can appeal is worthless anecdotal evidence.

As opposed to Tom's non-experiential speculation? LOL!

If you complain about blind tests that have been done

I continue to point out they are control free and largely worthless. Do find a test involving a box where a control was first conducted on the box in situ. Best of luck to you. Are you really interested in what is scientifically valid? It would seem - NOT.

rw

 

What is the objective of the test?, posted on June 20, 2010 at 18:49:54
Pat D
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You throw out the term, "worthless," without specifying the objective, which makes the usage essentially meaningless except emotively. An evaluation of the test implies it has an objective. When are able to figure that out, maybe then you can talk sensibly about what is "scientifically valid." Otherwise, no.

If your objective is to reinforce your prejudices about cables, then no doubt you would find most DBTs done as worthless for that purpose. So what? We already know you don't like them.


-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

Look up the concept "control", posted on June 20, 2010 at 19:08:55
E-Stat
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When are able to figure that out, maybe then you can talk sensibly about what is "scientifically valid."

then get back with us. The assumption that placing an additional component in a test system tying together multiple cables has no effect is just that - an assumption. Comprende?

Apparently, you already realize how stupid switching ICs between pre and power amps is - unless of course they have common grounds to prevent profound switching pops. Good!

rw

 

"I had to think a tiny bit about it in order to come up with a cognitive response. ", posted on June 20, 2010 at 19:38:54
robert young
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Did you really type that?

You are so funny.

 

Not responsive.., posted on June 20, 2010 at 19:53:01
Pat D
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Why don't you include the context of what I said, which was:

"An evaluation of the test implies it has an objective. When are able to figure that out, maybe then you can talk sensibly about what is "scientifically valid.""

You haven't told us about the objectives, no doubt for the good reason that you can see that it undermines your arguments.

You then come up with a straw man:

"The assumption that placing an additional component in a test system tying together multiple cables has no effect is just that - an assumption. Comprende?"

No one is making such an assumption.

But if you prefer expensive power cords, interconnects, and speaker cables, go right ahead and buy them. No one is stopping you.
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

RE: Agreed, posted on June 20, 2010 at 20:12:40
Pat D
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E-stat
"When every recording engineer has compared the direct feed of a recording through multiple resolutions and found Redbook lacking, why would E Brad ever consider that his test is fatally flawed?"

I am not quite sure just what E-stat is saying there, but he seems to refer to all the editing ("multiple resolutions," whatever he means by that)one might do prior to putting a recording on to a CD. I don't think anyone maintains that hi-rez editing is not better than 44.1 kHz digital. The Meyer-Moran paper doesn't address that, just whether the resulting stereo recording can be recorded onto Redbook digital without audible degradation--save for some additional noise audible at very high levels. That's all that was tested, as the very title of the article suggests:

E. Brad Meyer, "Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback," JAES, Vol. 55, No. 9, 2007 September.
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

Hmmm, posted on June 20, 2010 at 20:20:00
E-Stat
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No one is making such an assumption.

Except of course for guys like Roger Russell, Tom Noussaine, etc. Maybe Tom is different and couldn't care less if using a box invalidates any comparisons. Parlor games can be fun.

rw

 

RE: Not responsive.., posted on June 21, 2010 at 05:10:01
kerr
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>"The assumption that placing an additional component in a test system tying together multiple cables has no effect is just that - an assumption. Comprende?"

No one is making such an assumption.<

Then I find it odd that none of the ABX proponents has tested it to see what effect it does have, if any.

As E-Stat says, such lack of knowledge truly does make ABX a parlor game. Possibly cute, but ultimately pointless.

 

No editing, Pat, posted on June 21, 2010 at 06:37:36
E-Stat
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Comparing same content of live mic feed vs. recordings at various resolutions, i.e. DXD, 24/192, DSD, 24/88, Redbook, etc.

Example

Another

One from Tony

rw

 

RE: Agreed, posted on June 21, 2010 at 07:22:56
Tony Lauck
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Actually, even if you believe their tests were sensitive enough and the listeners well trained (I don't) they did not show that you could record at 44/16 and not lose anything. The reason: they did not actually record anything at 44/16, just converted data in that format on the fly.

Indeed, there could be degradations in the 44/16 equipment that they used that could have gone unnoticed in 44/16 loop back that might have been grossly audible were the device actually used to record and then play back later. For example, if the clock were very unstable it might impart a tremendous amount of jitter on record that would be almost exactly undone when playback took place with the same clock. But if the data had been stored between record and playback any clock errors would not have canceled so neatly.

IMO the entire concept that two sounds that differ by less than the threshold of hearing are somehow equivalent does not generalize in the context of a complete record-playback system. Substituting one "equivalent" component for another may result in two sounds that are equivalent, but if a bunch of equivalent components are all substituted the cumulative result may be well over the threshold. Hence, tests like those that Meyer and Moran ran are relevant, at best, to those who are willing to settle for mediocrity.

Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

 

So now we're talking of a direct feed . . ., posted on June 21, 2010 at 08:30:33
Pat D
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That is a different situation and not what Meyer and Moran tested. And for this new situation, all you offer is anecdotal evidence. That would be a good reason to do a controlled DBT to see if it's actually so, but you have such a low standard for what you accept as evidence.

I have Telarc Digital Stereo 5039, the famous LP recording of Band Suites by Holst, and music by Handel and Bach. In the liner notes, Stan Ricker said: "The signal from the digital sounds exactly the same as what we heard coming from those transformerless Schoeps microphones." Of course, the Soundstream sampled at 48 kHz, not 44.1 kHz.

So, I can find anecdotal evidence which indicates hi-rez is not necessary to produce recordings indistinguishable from the mic feed. Now, if you could only come up with some controlled DBTs that establish your beliefs, that would be great.

The fact is that the SACD and DVD signals were passed through a 44.1 kHz DAC and were not distinguished by the audiophiles taking the tests run by Meyer and Moran. Coming up with some other situation which you think should be tested doesn't affect the validity of their results.

According to E. Brad Meyer, "no one can tell when an ABX box is in the circuit." To make your objection at all significant, you would have to show that someone, at least, can hear it in the circuit. I've been waiting for years.
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

RE: Not responsive.., posted on June 21, 2010 at 08:33:29
Pat D
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"Then I find it odd that none of the ABX proponents has tested it to see what effect it does have, if any."

Tell it to E. Brad Meyer.

-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

RE: Hmmm, posted on June 21, 2010 at 08:38:35
Pat D
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"Except of course for guys like Roger Russell, Tom Noussaine, etc. Maybe Tom is different and couldn't care less if using a box invalidates any comparisons."

Just putting out names of people you disagree with does not establish your point. They are not a stupid as you seem to think they are.
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

Precisely, posted on June 21, 2010 at 08:44:56
E-Stat
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That is a different situation and not what Meyer and Moran tested.

Comparing the original feed is the real world, not some contrived attempt at duplicating the real world.

Stan Ricker said: "The signal from the digital sounds exactly the same as what we heard coming from those transformerless Schoeps microphones." Of course, the Soundstream sampled at 48 kHz, not 44.1 kHz.

Obviously, his opinion changed when he had access to higher resolution:

Here with Meitner

"I have to admit that...

"...the tape which was, I believe, 96 K, 20-bit from a Nagra certainly sounds better than the CD that came from that recording."

I have also heard a direct feed from the original Soundstream recorder when I participated in the ASO recording of the Firebird.

The fact is that the SACD and DVD signals were passed through a 44.1 kHz DAC and were not distinguished by the audiophiles taking the tests run by Meyer and Moran

Yep, that is what happens when you assume a $250 player is audibly perfect.


According to E. Brad Meyer, "no one can tell when an ABX box is in the circuit."

Fine. Provide the details of the control tests he ran in order to verify that assumption. I've never seen that done before.


rw

 

The relevant point is that both of them rely upon switch boxes -nt, posted on June 21, 2010 at 08:48:01
E-Stat
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rw

 

RE: Not responsive.., posted on June 21, 2010 at 08:56:27
tomservo
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“Then I find it odd that none of the ABX proponents has tested it to see what effect it does have, if any.”

In the testing I described, all the participants had a chance to get used to their wires, had a chance to pick out the best, most revealing music passages, were all accustomed to whatever changes if any the switcher caused and could still “hear” their wires clearly when they said they were ready (to be “blinded by science” or rather having the knowledge of which was which was eliminated leaving only the aural inputs).

Nothing at all changed in the test except the loss of the little lamp which said which cable was which.
Now, here is a case where nothing the switcher did was any different, nothing the cables did was any different ONLY the loss of the identity changed, ONLY that was responsible for the apparently large change in hearing acuity.

One is left asking, when is it desirable to separate the domains, the customary view of hearing as an experience as opposed to what one can genuinely detect with ones ears alone.

I think the difference is important if you’re engineering a product as you are only concerned with what others might hear from your design without knowing you or your approach, while the user may not care at all why something appears to work, why they need to wear their lucky underwear to an important meeting.

I cannot say I have tested exotic power cables, this niche is a fairly recent event in aftermarket add on’ s likely having more to do with standardized power connectors and a marketing opportunity than manufactures cheating the design with a insufficient cord or plug.

Theoretically, given the size of the power distribution system, except for the absence of, should not make the kind of difference that would be revealed in this kind of test.
Until someone does that test, one can’t say with certainty which domain the claimed effect is in.
I can say that a proper power supply would normally not be subject to reasonable amounts of crud on the AC line, in test equipment a very high degree of immunity is required, price point and the designers skill is the issue.
Best,
Tom


 

The challenge with theory, posted on June 21, 2010 at 09:11:34
E-Stat
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is that one is limited by a set assumptions that can omit causal factors.

Theoretically, given the size of the power distribution system, except for the absence of, should not make the kind of difference that would be revealed in this kind of test.

The "miles and miles" argument misses the relevant points. Here is some commentary from near ten years ago from an engineer who used to work at GamuT

Ole's comments

Perhaps all of the award winning recording artists, engineers and audiophiles who have used aftermarket cords for years are just experiencing mass hysteria. Or...

rw

 

"burden of proof" thing again......, posted on June 21, 2010 at 09:18:27
Sordidman
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There will never be anything approaching any kind of semi-universal certainty or consistency with high-end artisan products. Just because some manufacturer uses electrical engineering methodology to achieve a certain "sound," - does not mean that their goal is to either define or achieve something approaching "accuracy;" that will be agreed upon by all or many.

Hearing and listening is interpretation, - (and that does not mean arbitrary beliefs), - the goal is often "sounds good:" - or possibly too, an accurate interpretation of a recorded event, as the designer hears it.

All of this stuff falls within the realm of a very uncertain interpretation, and experience. To try to go beyond experience, and subject different components to some kind of provable standard, almost borders on the ridiculous as there are no universally acceptable standards: (and they are certainly not provable). We certainly can measure the resistance of any given set of cables. But whether or not different cables make any given sound system sound different, - is subject to a whole host of different circumstances, including the people who are listening: so much so that we just need to experience them.

This is an entirely different world, (interpreting an artistic event), than manufacturing an effective drug, or determining a car's acceleration: the latter of which can be easily tested and proven.

I've experienced Home Depot lamp cord, Speltz Anti-Cables, Audience AU24 and Cardas cables in my system. They all affected how the system sounded, and they all made the system sound different. (If I would've connected these cables to my Denon all-in-one system in the bedroom; they would've been different still, and I bet that their differences would've been less pronounced, if at all).

Denigrating experience, in a paradigm that has goals of interpreting an artistic event, is not going to help anyone acquire value. In a world where both perceptions and goals vary greatly, the best we can do to determine value is to acquire as many experiences as we can, and then try to determine the degree of differences, (if any), bring in the other factors besides sound quality as we perceive it, - then make the call.



"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

RE: Not responsive.., posted on June 21, 2010 at 09:28:09
kerr
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>Tell it to E. Brad Meyer.<

Do you think he'd listen? Do you think he's at all curious as to whether the components under test are being compared to themselves instead of each other? Maybe, but one cannot tell from the post you linked.

 

RE: Not responsive.., posted on June 21, 2010 at 09:54:36
kerr
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>In the testing I described, all the participants had a chance to get used to their wires, had a chance to pick out the best, most revealing music passages, were all accustomed to whatever changes if any the switcher caused and could still “hear” their wires clearly when they said they were ready (to be “blinded by science” or rather having the knowledge of which was which was eliminated leaving only the aural inputs).<

Sounds like a DBT-within-a-DBT is needed. Or maybe a "bias-cure-within-a-bias-cure", would be better stated. :)

 

RE: The challenge with theory, posted on June 21, 2010 at 10:08:29
tomservo
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Ole's comments reflect traditional power supply engineering.
I have seen sketchy power supplies in audio before but think about it this way;
If you made test equipment, part of the requirement is that the ac power have minimal or no effect on the measurements OR what your measuring.
If you examine either HP or tektronics test gear from the 80's, that is pretty much what you have.

Now, do you think any of them would have not spent some extra bucks for better /easier compliance, by using a special cord?

Put your self in a hifi mfr's shoes, your interested in the maximum performance possible, you buy parts in huge quantities, would you short on the design of your expensive amplifiers by putting on an inferior AC cord? NO you don't, you use the connectors and hardware that looks like what is expected given the cost.

That leaves the sellers of aftermarket power cables. What motive do they have, what ability to analyze what is needed do they have the original mfr didn't?
I am not saying one can't hear a power cables, but ideally you shouldn't be able to and if so, there is the question of which domain it may be in.



 

I've done better!, posted on June 21, 2010 at 10:43:13
E-Stat
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Put your self in a hifi mfr's shoes, your interested in the maximum performance possible, you buy parts in huge quantities, would you short on the design of your expensive amplifiers by putting on an inferior AC cord? NO you don't, you use the connectors and hardware that looks like what is expected given the cost.

I have spoken with several directly on that matter and find a different answer than your assumption. I wouldn't use the term "short on the design" either. What Jud Barber, Luke Manley and Ole have said is they don't see the need to add cost to their products only for those who wish it. My forte is inventory management and stocking expensive power cables merely adds disproportionately to the overall cost. My GamuT CD-1 came delivered without a cord altogether. A basic, UL approved one would have been provided free upon request, but most users don't go that route. Using your logic, why don't amplifier and/or speaker manufacturers provide interconnects and speaker cabling? You certainly can't use the speaker without cables! What speaker wire do you include with purchase price with your designs?

rw

 

Exactly, posted on June 21, 2010 at 11:24:34
E-Stat
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...were all accustomed to whatever changes if any the switcher caused

The only way that would be possible is to compare listening through the switch to listening without the switch and extra cabling. The box is used or it is not. That would be the necessary control to replace the assumption set.

His main point is that folks tend to focus on visual cues. If proving that was the objective of the test, then it succeeded. If the objective, however, was to objectively compare the signal wires, then it failed.

rw

 

RE: Exactly, posted on June 21, 2010 at 11:59:54
kerr
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>His main point is that folks tend to focus on visual cues. If proving that was the objective of the test, then it succeeded. If the objective, however, was to objectively compare the signal wires, then it failed.<

Precisely.

I'm not against blind testing at all. I'm not even against double blind if it can be pulled off properly, and not even against the box if it can be proven that it works as advertised. In other words, I'd like that same stuff I get asked for repeatedly... evidence.

 

RE: Exactly, posted on June 21, 2010 at 14:25:37
tomservo
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"The only way that would be possible is to compare listening through the switch to listening without the switch and extra cabling. The box is used or it is not. That would be the necessary control to replace the assumption set."

Alternately, if one were to assert that covering a cable with magic marker changed it, one is stuck either measuring the effect from the standpoint of electronic theory OR by asking if anyone hears any difference.

The electronic theory approach used to design things says if the effects are small enough, they will not be detectable, the idea with the switcher is that to do this test one must compare so what matters is the stray elements are very small as they were (like a few inches of cable).

The point is that once no one knew which was which, the differences that they heard went away, that part was a blind test, if you really can't tell which is which or a difference between A and B using only your ears, the differences are very small..

The usefulness was in showing everyone just how large even dominating what they expect or know was relative to the actual / detectable acoustic changes the different speaker cables imparted relative to zip cord.
That part was huge, totally unexpected and humbling for some who were totally "sure" about their cables.

One can debate everything makes a difference even a flyspeck of dust in the room and it does at some level, but until one removes prior knowledge from the test, one is not measuring what your ears hear but an opinion which encompasses what you know and believe as well..


 

You have proven that which is already known, posted on June 21, 2010 at 14:43:13
E-Stat
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The point is that once no one knew which was which, the differences that they heard went away, that part was a blind test, if you really can't tell which is which or a difference between A and B using only your ears, the differences are very small..

Do you have any interest with pursuing the differences that are found with cabling? Do you honestly think that Wal-Mart zip cord is indistinguishable from Nordost Odin on a superlative system? What is your initial bias?

That part was huge, totally unexpected and humbling for some who were totally "sure" about their cables.

Once you've made the unproven assumption that loading the amplifier with both cables using the box had no effect. Who knows - perhaps the cables tested were no better than zip cord in the test system. BTW, what was the test system? Could others duplicate your test for verification? I use low DC cables because electrostats are more sensitive to both C and L. Others are not.

...but until one removes prior knowledge from the test, one is not measuring what your ears hear but an opinion which encompasses what you know and believe as well.

Do you think this concept is under debate?

rw

 

RE: You have proven that which is already known, posted on June 21, 2010 at 15:26:01
tomservo
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“Who knows - perhaps the cables tested were no better than zip cord in the test system. BTW, what was the test system? Could others duplicate your test for verification? I use low DC cables because electrostats are more sensitive to both C and L. Others are not.”

First, I understand your skepticism. Second, in particular electrostatic speakers require a low inductance as a capacitive load will form a second order low pass filter. Understand, I am not saying cables do nothing, they do something to be sure and what they do is in part related to the length.
I have a tower I use to measure speakers up in the air so that there are no significant reflections into the bass range. I need to do this in order to design the crossovers I use which do not result in phase shift, the result being something like a full range ESS, not spreading a signal out in time.
A hundred feet of good mic cable is no real problem but a hundred feet of speaker cable is a real problem. I need to have the measurement error it adds to be very small even at 100 feet. I evaluated all the likely choices but none had low enough series L, normal extension cord would produce an error/ roll off of 2 dB at 20KHz with accordant phase shift, TOO large.

I ended up making a cable from a pair of low loss coax cables (a variant of RG-9913) cross coupled.
That 100 foot cable pair ended up having the L and C in the range of the 10 foot kimber cable sample I had while having about 1/8 the Rdc. If you want to try a theoretically blameless cable, the stuff (the modern low loss RG-8’s extended family) is dirt cheap compared to audio hose, the electrical parameters are very good, the design scientific.
If you have a ham fest locally, you can pick up usable lengths of this stuff for a few bucks, look for the stranded center conductor which is more flexible.

 

All of that is pretty cool, but, posted on June 21, 2010 at 15:33:22
E-Stat
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I have a tower...

Was the speaker cable test using the box conducted with the speakers on the tower with 100' of run for each cable?

rw

 

There Is a Company that Follows Your Ideals..........., posted on June 22, 2010 at 00:12:55
Todd Krieger
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"We demand a detachable power cord on our components. Why should a component designer try to isolate his system from external noise when the audiophile is so willing to do it for him?"

Because no noise isolation method is unequivocally the best, and what might work best with a component in one system might not be so ideal with that same component in another system.

What's wrong with having a choice?

"I mean let's get real some of us actually believe susceptability to external noise signifies a high resolution system and upgrading power cords is a requirement to get the best sound."

It might be susceptibility to noise, it might be power transfer...... Or EMI/RFI mitigation...... There are a lot of factors, even from a technical perspective, in regard to which power cord might be ideal.

If you think one can design a power supply that is non-susceptible to noise, you are only fooling yourself..... All decent line conditioners *reduce* susceptibility, but not *eliminate* it. (There are probably some bad ones out there that don't.) But no two power conditioners handle susceptibilities exactly the same way.

Or to state it a different way, there is no "one size fits all" approach to line power conditioning. Each system in each environment poses unique challenges.

"This is mostly a design decision, the manufacturer can slap the receptical and the back and save money on isolating the power supply."

Why force someone into a permanent decision where he can otherwise choose his "isolation"? (Not all line conditioners are for isolation, by the way.)

"He can sell the gear for higher profits and reap the benefits of buyers believing his gear is so resolving it deserves the added expenditure."

You really think one who omits isolation from a PS design would charge the same price?

You're conjuring up a frivolous basis for argument, IMHO......

"I might concede that such an option should be available but I can't for the life of me think such an option, ie. an upgraded power cord, should make a difference in most situations."

I in most part agree...... But just state it kindly...... Only then might people actually think about it.

"But of course it does and hey why should we dis the component makers for maximizing their profits at our expensve especially when we believe the stuff we are buying needs the upgrades because it is so good."

Because the notion that a component should perform at its best without any consideration for adjustment is next to impossible to achieve in reality...... It might be perfect in a designer's system, but the variables vary too much for each individual.

The only company that has successfully manufactured products per your ideals is Bose....... The one product line where people plug straight into the wall, and enjoy the music....... But it is still a compromise....... The catch is the sound is watered down to be made predictable, yet pleasant enough to satisfy people not-so-demanding for sound reproduction.

"Its a joke and an embarrassment that audiophiles have been led to believe such garbage."

It's a joke only because you want it to be a joke.......

"Unfortunately it's real and not an illusion. I just wish audiophiles had a better handle on this issue than the more resolving means more noise crap some of you have been spewing around here for years."

Sounds like you hate free speech....... If someone states something erroneous, kindly correct him........ Just calling people "clueless" won't accomplish anything.

"Get a clue!"

Unfortunately, I don't find what you stated here constructive...... You must first provide the means and ideas so people can "get a clue."
   

 

RE: Power cord realities and illusions, posted on June 22, 2010 at 00:38:50
Todd Krieger
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I don't think this is the ideal way to evaluate cables..... I'd rather put something in for a week or two, try something else for a week or two, and at that time I'll realize which cable I like better.
   

 

RE: All of that is pretty cool, but, posted on June 22, 2010 at 08:33:01
tomservo
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"Was the speaker cable test using the box conducted with the speakers on the tower with 100' of run for each cable?"

No, for the listening tests, the cables were what the attendees brought and varied from 10 feet to about 30 feet (10 meters i would guess)in length.

For the measurement set up, each cable type was measured open and close circuit to determine the series L, R and parallel C, ALL of these properties are directly proportional to the length so one the values 'per foot" are determined, then the effect of any length out to about 1/8 wavelength can be calculated. At 20KHz, 1/8 wl is still well over a mile so there is no transmission line effect to be concerned with in audio cables normally..
Interestingly, one cable type was significantly worse than lamp cord, that was the generic round hardware store extension cord. It has much more space between conductors and so had by far the highest inductance per foot.
That series inductance can only exist when there is uncoupled flux between the two conductors (which carry equal but opposing currents), the self shielding of the coax apraoach or the weaving (and extension of twisted pair) greatly reduces the un-coupled flux which is why these types have low series L.
Best,
Tom

 

What I was interested in , posted on June 22, 2010 at 08:39:27
E-Stat
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with the last post was to ascertain your test system to be able to put it into context. Source. Amplification. Speakers. Program material. Cabling not under comparison.

For the measurement set up...

Was that done first without box and then WITH BOX and other cable(s) connected?

I was more interested with actual measurements, not calculated values in a vacuum.

rw

 

RE: The relevant point is that both of them rely upon switch boxes -nt, posted on June 22, 2010 at 09:00:02
tomservo
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Sadly, it in not possible to conduct a comparative test without switching between the two things under comparison.

While It is possible to have a person at each end to switch the physical cables, this is not as fast and as others doing blind testing have found, the people doing the switching can intentionally or more often unintentionally affect the test consistence with what they belive.
For example(s) cold fusion the conclusions from the Princeton University paranormal research (pear) work.

To remove that operator effect, a mechanical switcher was used, which from an engineering view would have added an insignificant alteration in the “in vs out” signals or amplifier loading.

One cannot make such a switch that has no effect in the most skeptical view, all one can do in the engineering view is make that alteration a very very small effect relative to the differences (between cable properties in this case) one is looking for.

Thus, having a switch which represented a few inches of the best cable under consideration, when that cable is 10 to 30 feet long, represents an insignificant effect.

Insignificant especially when compared to what the test (and other similar tests) generally revealed about how terribly strong the automatic “filling in the blanks” part of our conscious experience of “hearing” is, compared to what one can honestly draw from the acoustic signal alone.
This was generally humbling to the attendees, maybe like realizing one’s own “response curve” more or less followed the equal loudness contours instead of being FLAT. But, hey, that’s the only thing we are aware of, what we experience and like many things we know no differently until someone actually measures it.
Best,
Tom

 

Apparently, I'm just not getting through, posted on June 22, 2010 at 09:11:15
E-Stat
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Sadly, it in not possible to conduct a comparative test without switching between the two things under comparison.

Uh, yeah. Do we have anyone in the audience who doesn't understand this? :)

While It is possible to have a person at each end to switch the physical cables, this is not as fast and as others doing blind testing have found, the people doing the switching can intentionally or more often unintentionally affect the test consistence with what they belive.

And the assumptions keep rolling in... I've used my wife (a university pharmacy professor) to proctor changes. First of all, she doesn't even know which cable should be "better". Secondly, and more importantly, I've left the room through one door and she enters through another where there is no opportunity for visual cues. And no, she doesn't stamp her foot once with one choice and twice for another. :)

Thus, having a switch which represented a few inches of the best cable under consideration, when that cable is 10 to 30 feet long, represents an insignificant effect.

Your response is a perfect example of the pitfalls of substituting assumptions for empirical data. The obvious concern is not the effect of a "few inches" of cable. It is that the switch exhibits crosstalk such that you are not comparing A with B. You are comparing AB with AB. All that you had to do to answer my repeated questions about first establishing a control is reply "No, I did not use a control. I assume that the box exhibits perfect isolation between the cables and that it has no possible effect on the outcome.

I guess your test system is likewise an irrelevant part of the test. I'll stop here since you seem to have difficulty with simple, direct answers. Thanks anyway!

rw

 

RE: Apparently, I'm just not getting through, posted on June 22, 2010 at 11:13:26
tomservo
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To be honest, I don’t know what you’re asking for, bare with me here, I am in engineering. When I say insignificant, to me that means something in particular, it doesn’t mean it’s gone but very small.

You ask about measurements, this is how one concludes what insignificant is relative to what your trying to measure, for electrical components I use one of these;

http://www.testequipmentconnection.com/index.php?main_page=search&search=4274A&gclid=CK3Ar9-StKICFQQMDQodfmWg5g

For networks, I use one of these;

http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/usedequipment/hewlettpackard/spectrumanalyzers/3562a.htm?gclid=CKiLiqmStKICFVD75wod2iBA4g

Or a TEF-20 to measure driver impedance curves as with the tower. Also, a network simulator program which with some steering can derive the equivalent circuits for most drivers and deal with a drivers as the load for a filter network etc.


It is relatively easy to measure the signal at each end of a cable too, even using music as the test signal, without a switcher too. That way if one is in doubt about the signal being altered and if it is according to network theory, one can examine the difference and see how close that is to predicted based on measured parameters.

AS for the listening system used back in the cable tests, the amplifiers were several, a threshold stasis (mine) a mcintosh 240, a QSC pl-236, in the amp listening a chevin something and several crowns were added.
The speakers were an early version of a full range horn product used in commercial sound.
The goal (for the last 12 years) was hi fidelity for a large group of people, all the problems one faces get worse as the size of the room increases. My solution was to make a full range horn system where all of the drivers combined coherently into one source with no lobes, no crossover phase shift, constant directivity and high output, all things desirable for home hifi too..
The closest “hifi speaker I have measured “in time” was a manger which was admittedly somewhat better than the SH-50. The SH-50 does go about 30 dB louder, two octaves lower and has about 1/1000 the distortion at livingroom listening levels and does reproduce a square wave “out front” for more than a decade spanning both crossovers. While not aimed at hifi, they are about as close as commercial sound has at the moment and a few have found their way into livingrooms, search here SH-50.
A more typical large scale “hifi” use;

http://audioheritage.csdco.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?26261-IMAX-cinema-sound&p=265081
Best,
Tom Danley

 

I give up :) -nt, posted on June 22, 2010 at 11:29:34
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rw

 

Not artistic interpretation, just whether there is an audible difference., posted on June 22, 2010 at 11:31:42
Pat D
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Can people tell the two pieces of equipment apart from the sound alone?
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

Only ever one way to tell: conduct the test -t, posted on June 22, 2010 at 12:32:32
Sordidman
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.


"Asylums with doors open wide,
Where people had paid to see inside,
For entertainment they watch his body twist
Behind his eyes he says, 'I still exist.'"

 

RE: Agreed, posted on June 22, 2010 at 12:59:12
Pat D
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Well, the tests dealt with what is possible with the consumer product. If the SACD or DVD sounds different from the CD (and I know there are dual layer SACD/CDs), one has the right to ask why, since at the levels used, no one in the Meyer-Moran tests showed they could, and that includes some "audio professionals."

The Meyer and Moran tests took the analog output of the SACD or DVD players and digitized it to a 44.1 kHz sampling rate and then converted it to analog. I personally wouldn't call that data conversion, as from what I understand that is a purely digital process.

Since you are too cheap to get the journal article, I will provide you with a couple of URLs for the paper and a further explanation:

http://drewdaniels.com/audible.pdf

http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/explanation.htm
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

I can - and you cannot. What test in the world would change that? N/T, posted on June 22, 2010 at 13:08:46
carcass93
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N/T

 

RE: Apparently, I'm just not getting through, posted on June 22, 2010 at 13:21:53
kerr
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>Secondly, and more importantly, I've left the room through one door and she enters through another where there is no opportunity for visual cues. And no, she doesn't stamp her foot once with one choice and twice for another. :)<

LOL!

I've found a similar method to work wonderfully. Doesn't require a switchbox, allows for long term listening and is foolproof. That's all that matters to me.

 

I care! nt, posted on June 22, 2010 at 13:23:19
Dr. Philosophy
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/

 

RE: Agreed, posted on June 22, 2010 at 14:32:01
Tony Lauck
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Thanks for emailing the link.

I am not too cheap. I don't pay for journal articles on principle. At one time journals actually did something: they did editing, typesetting and production. Now the editing and type setting is done by the author and the production is essentially free. As before, the editorial function is done by free volunteers. (I just refereed a paper yesterday.) In other words, journals are a rip-off and I won't support them unless absolutely necessary. (In this case, I already read the article because Brad mailed it to me when it originally came out. I just couldn't find it.)

I don't mind paying money to authors (or in the case of music, artists). It's just being ripped off by middlemen that bugs me. Technical standards are the worst, because all of the people that do all the work to write the standards don't get any money for their efforts. One of the reasons why the TCP/IP based Internet technology won in the marketplace was because all of the standards for the Internet are available for free downloading, encouraging additional contributions from impecunious students, etc...

Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

 

Sorry to hear that you cannot , posted on June 22, 2010 at 16:20:39
E-Stat
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I now understand why you have trouble relating to other's conversations and always resort to only what you've been told.

rw

 

Writing again without knowledge, I see. (nt), posted on June 22, 2010 at 18:21:03
Pat D
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.
-----
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No wonder you don't understand science! (nt), posted on June 22, 2010 at 18:22:23
Pat D
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.
-----
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Such a shallow concept of science, as, posted on June 22, 2010 at 19:38:29
E-Stat
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observation has always been a critical component. At least for those who experience the world instead of just talking about it.

Here's a reminder for the scientific method:

"A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses."

rw

 

Darn Tom...............I thought you were just a regular guy! {smile} ~NT, posted on June 22, 2010 at 20:05:05
Cleantimestream
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~!
The Mind has No Firewall~ U.S. Army War College.

 

"I see" - that's the thing, Patty... you don't. And that, ..., posted on June 23, 2010 at 09:14:27
carcass93
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... coupled with the fact that you apparently don't hear either, makes conversation with you absolutely pointless.

Have another doughnut.

 

You seem to have no scientific strategies., posted on June 23, 2010 at 19:24:23
Pat D
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""A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses."

I should point out that listening without knowing the DUT is observation. Meyer and Moran did some testing of a hypothesis. Their report of the tests passed through peer review. So their tests meet the definition you have supplied.






-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

RE: Precisely, posted on June 23, 2010 at 19:47:43
Pat D
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If we're comparing Stan Ricker anecdotes, which could hear better: the Stan Ricker in 1978 or the Stan Ricker over 20 years later? In any case, what is unreal about comparing the SACD or DVD with a 16/44.2 kHz recording of it? After all, there are dual layer SACD/CDs.

E-stat
"I have also heard a direct feed from the original Soundstream recorder when I participated in the ASO recording of the Firebird."

Nice recording. I have it both on LP and CD. But we discussed this before: as I recall, you didn't compare the direct feed from the mic with the feed from the Soundstream recorder.

E-stat
"Yep, that is what happens when you assume a $250 player is audibly perfect."

This is a fantasy in more ways than one. First, a number of other players were also used, including a Sony, a Yamaha, and a Denon. Second, I should point out that at very high gain levels, the testers could hear some low level nonlinearities in the left channel of the Pioneer player. Hmmm . . . the ABX switcher didn't cover that difference up, now, did it? That's not an assumption. I am also shocked that you characterize the players by their price!

Now, as well, at high gain levels, the noise levels of the CD loop in the test was audible--but the level was uncomfortably high for listening to music. My, my! The ABX switcher didn't cover that up, either. That's not an assumption, either.

In fact, with DBTs employing an ABX switcher, a number of positive results have been obtained, and you haven't come up with anything that the ABX switcher covers up.
-----
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

Have you ever heard of experience?, posted on June 24, 2010 at 06:17:13
E-Stat
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If we're comparing Stan Ricker anecdotes, which could hear better: the Stan Ricker in 1978 or the Stan Ricker over 20 years later?

Apparently not. He likely has a greater depth of experience over those years. I know that my exposure to more live music and higher resolution equipment has changed my perspective. I guess that is a foreign concept for one who stays on the bench.

Hmmm . . . the ABX switcher didn't cover that difference up, now, did it?

That the box reveals gross differences is not under debate.

...you haven't come up with anything that the ABX switcher covers up.

That would be virtually every recording engineer with first hand experience. Speculate on!

rw

 

You have a peculiarly truncated notion of experience., posted on June 24, 2010 at 09:03:12
Pat D
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E-stat
"That the box reveals gross differences is not under debate."

You have a peculiar idea of what gross effects might be!

Meyer and Moran looked at some of the things asserted by the subjective audio press, audio professionals, and audiophiles, and tested them. You don't seem to include the experience of researchers who do audio DBTs in your concept of experience.

Quote from me:
"...you haven't come up with anything that the ABX switcher covers up."

E-stat comments
"That would be virtually every recording engineer with first hand experience. Speculate on!"

Dream on! Some of the Meyer-Moran tests were conducted at "a CD/DVD mastering facility." "Some of the source material for these trials was a classical music production which was then in process at this establishment."




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"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

Truncated experience?, posted on June 24, 2010 at 10:07:32
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 24685
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
Unlike you, many of us have experienced different systems whose performance is beyond the insipid. You're among the proud few who wave the banner of mediocrity high in the name of audio.

Dream on! Some of the Meyer-Moran tests were conducted at "a CD/DVD mastering facility.

Which further illustrates your inability to understand the significance of comparing the live feed and the result. Hint: recordings are not performed in a mastering facility. Perhaps it's time for you to look at the picture and read the text in your link:

The "bulk of the trials" were using an "audiphile grade" system (pictured) using a Pioneer DV-563 player, Adcom preamp, Carver amp and zip cord? Audiophile grade? Is he a moron or just thinks that everyone else is? That's just too funny. I am astounded at the profound ignorance demonstrated by his assumptions - both with the validity of his contrived "this-is-never-how-systems-are-used" *test* and his choice of test systems. You can prove whatever you want with such dumbed down platforms. BTW, you can pick up one of those truly revealing "state-of-the-art" players on Amazon for about $75. Go for it dude. You'll be in heaven. LOL!

rw

 

RE: Truncated experience?, posted on June 24, 2010 at 10:57:24
Pat D
Audiophile

Posts: 12303
Location: Fredericton NB
Joined: June 20, 2000
One wonders what you are talking about. You have just said that the mic feed and the recording sound just the same based on anecdotal evidence, including that of Stan Ricker, just as Stan Ricker said the Soundfield 16/50K recording sounded the same as the mic feed in 1978 when he was younger and could hear better.

So, do you think the digital masters deteriorated over time? Because unless you do, your objections have no force at all.

Meyer and Moran said:

"The usefulness of the increased dynamic range afforded by longer word lengths for mixdown has never been in question."

Now, in a world of dual layer SACDs and issues of recordings in more than one stereo format, there is nothing unreal about what was tested.

You seem to have no evidence that there is anything wrong with the system described, and your only criticism of the Pioneer player is its price! Tsk, tsk, shame on you.

Again, I just pointed out that no one said the Pioneer player was perfect--indeed, Meyer and Moran pointed out a flaw, audible at very high levels, but which no one managed to hear at listenable levels on music. But then no one showed they heard a difference using a number of other players, either.

You have no objections against the data; you have no substantiated objections against the equipment used.

There have been suggestions that some changes would result in a better test. That's always possible.

You seem to wish something else had been tested, but haven't specified what or how.


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"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

Assumptions, assumptions, posted on June 24, 2010 at 12:13:25
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 24685
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
...when he was younger and could hear better.

Speak for yourself if you have gained zero experience and have not improved your listening skills over a twenty year period. I'm sorry to hear that - but it is quite expected.

You seem to have no evidence that there is anything wrong with the system described

Not for shallow meter readers who require a test to tell them what they've heard. Only those who have been exposed to far better understand otherwise.

...-indeed, Meyer and Moran pointed out a flaw, audible at very high levels, but which no one managed to hear at listenable levels on music.

This is really getting pathetic. You really have no idea what kinds of audible differences exist between $250 and $25,000 players. Is the Rotel the best you've heard? I remain amazed at how much ink is spilled by those who speculate (based upon their non-experience) there aren't any differences beyond gross measures of level and frequency response among audio components. Your mission to spread the word of mediocrity falls on (not) deaf ears.

rw

 

RE: Truncated experience?, posted on June 24, 2010 at 13:59:04
Tony Lauck
Audiophile

Posts: 13629
Location: Vermont
Joined: November 12, 2007
There is a big difference between 50 kHz sampling and 44 kHz sampling. In my experience, going to 48 kHz gives the majority of benefit from higher sampling rates. Beyond that it's a case of diminishing returns, but with modern technology the costs are so low that it makes no sense to go below 88.2 kHz, or even 176.4 kHz. (A few cents per album extra bandwidth and storage cost for an Internet download.) In my experience, sometime you can get good results with 44.1 kHz, but it's a puzzle. There are various choices in filtering that can give you distortion free sound (no aliases), full 20 kHz frequency response, or unsmeared transients (no excessive ringing). Unfortunately, it is only possible to have two out of the three possibilities at this sampling rate. If the recording is such that all three are not really needed, then the final results can be very good, but arguably not excellent.

Meyer and Moran follow an established tradition of audio denialists to dismiss positive findings. However, they are not an extreme examples of this error. There was an AES study that reached the conclusion in the summary that there were no significant differences between high res PCM and DSD, despite the body of the same article pointing out there were a few subjects who could clearly and reliably hear the difference.

If there were money in audio then there would be "scientific" research to "prove" what most of the mastering engineers already know. Most, not all of them, unfortunately. If you can hear the difference you don't need any "authorities" or "peer review" to validate your sense impressions.



Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

 

You're making lots of assumptions., posted on June 24, 2010 at 16:41:07
Pat D
Audiophile

Posts: 12303
Location: Fredericton NB
Joined: June 20, 2000
Well, if you want to call hearing loss with age an assumption, that's up to you, but don't expect rational people to follow. You make an assumption that listening skills will make up for that. Maybe, maybe not. But still, you have no scientific tests.

"Not for shallow meter readers who require a test to tell them what they've heard. Only those who have been exposed to far better understand otherwise."

Maybe, maybe not. You're making an assumption. The only way to establish the issue rationally is with data from controlled blind listening tests, not sighted auditions. With sighted tests, one can distinguish the DUT without even operating them.

Your quote from me:
"...-indeed, Meyer and Moran pointed out a flaw, audible at very high levels, but which no one managed to hear at listenable levels on music."

E-stat's comment:
"This is really getting pathetic. You really have no idea what kinds of audible differences exist between $250 and $25,000 players. Is the Rotel the best you've heard? I remain amazed at how much ink is spilled by those who speculate (based upon their non-experience) there aren't any differences beyond gross measures of level and frequency response among audio components. Your mission to spread the word of mediocrity falls on (not) deaf ears."

I am not an issue here, neither is my equipment. I did not participate in the tests. The point is that a number of players were used in the tests and one was identified as not as good, using the ABX Comparator--as I already pointed out. Nevertheless, it was not shown that the player was not good enough for the uses for which it was designed.

I would like to see proof that a $25,000 player is audibly better. Have you got any established by scientific methods?

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"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser

 

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