The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio - Page 5 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

View Poll Results: Ten Biggest Audio Lies: Agree or Disagree (If you disagree, you must explain why!) Votes are public!
I agree with all of them. (If you vote here... do not vote again.) 130 44.22%
I disagree with all of them. (If you vote here... do not vote again.) 11 3.74%
1. The Cable Lie: Agree 106 36.05%
1. The Cable Lie: Disagree 36 12.24%
2. The Vacuum-Tube Lie: Agree 55 18.71%
2. The Vacuum-Tube Lie: Disagree 61 20.75%
3. The Antidigital Lie: Agree 70 23.81%
3. The Antidigital Lie: Disagree 43 14.63%
4. The Listening-Test Lie: Agree 79 26.87%
4. The Listening-Test Lie: Disagree 34 11.56%
5. The Feedback Lie: Agree 72 24.49%
5. The Feedback Lie: Disagree 29 9.86%
6. The Burn-In Lie: Agree 85 28.91%
6. The Burn-In Lie: Disagree 36 12.24%
7. The Biwiring Lie: Agree 78 26.53%
7. The Biwiring Lie: Disagree 34 11.56%
8. The Power Conditioner Lie: Agree 76 25.85%
8. The Power Conditioner Lie: Disagree 41 13.95%
9. The CD Treatment Lie: Agree 94 31.97%
9. The CD Treatment Lie: Disagree 25 8.50%
10: The Golden Ear Lie: Agree 81 27.55%
10: The Golden Ear Lie: Disagree 31 10.54%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 294. You may not vote on this poll

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post #41 of 287 Old 03-13-08, 01:08 PM
Mr. Mike
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

Thanks for the response THXGoon.

In my experience, anytime a "discussion" of anything (cables, CD players, turntables...whatever) starts to get into the price of the things being discussed, the debate loses its validity.

Each person has their own threshold for how much they will spend on any given item. Its not my place to tell someone what is "too much". Too much for me may be their starting price point.

I can't tell a cheap bottle of wine from a good one, and I would never spend 400 bucks on a bottle, but I tip my hat to the guy who can tell the difference (or even just thinks he can) and indulges himself in his hobby. If the people enjoy their 5K cables and it adds pleasure for them, then it was money well spent. As long as it isnt my money....

Live life with zeal. Yes?

As usual, just my opinion YMMV


Last edited by Mr. Mike; 03-13-08 at 01:14 PM.
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post #42 of 287 Old 03-13-08, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ohio
Posts: 301
Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I understand your point in not posting as I have been atacked elsewhere for having what some forums push as over-priced gear but I dont think this site is that immature, I post my gear because I like to talk about others journey in this hobby and offer "ata boy's" for others efforts so why not share mine.
I knoiw my gear is pretty humble, I also know others think its too much money but we all can share what we have done and the paths we took to get where we are....cheers
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post #43 of 287 Old 03-13-08, 03:15 PM
Mr. Mike
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio


Your stuff looks great to me. A very fine set-up. I loved my Phonomena phono stage. When I got my current pre-amp, it had a built in phono stage or I would still be using the Phonomena.

How I got here? Man, if I knew that I would have saved a bundle not buying stuff that didnt work out.

post #44 of 287 Old 03-13-08, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Posts: 301
Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

"How we got here".............I give a big ole' Amen about the bad choices!

Last edited by superchad; 03-13-08 at 11:27 PM. Reason: typo monster is in my head
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post #45 of 287 Old 06-23-08, 08:50 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I agree with all, to an extent (there was a great deal of talk about "science", but the methods as listed were not controlled enough, at least not in the vague description given), except for the portions covering vacuum tubes, bi-wiring, and power conditioners.
There is significant data available on the benefits of vacuum tubes (while they have higher distortion, it is even order distortion = pleasing to ear), although I would NOT go so far as to say it is better than solid-state, just different. Low power tubes are also equally valid, and not as expensive as some would have you believe (they can be built for $100-200 if you are savvy in parts acquisition).
Bi-wiring has so many installation applications that it canít be considered a performance myth. For example, it may be easier to use two sets of 16 AWG cables than to use a single set of 12 AWG cable for a long cable run. Crossover networks can also come into play, especially if using an aftermarket network. Also, bi-amplifying is completely valid for speaker manufacturers to incorporate, and bi-wiring is just a possibility offered as a result. Increased SNR and available power if used with multiple low power amps does not sound bogus to me.
Power conditioners are over-hyped, but not unnecessary. It all depends on source voltage and the conditioner/stabilizer used. My old apartment had 119~121 V line voltage all the time, and I never felt compelled to use a line conditioner, nor would it have yielded any plausible results. However, at my current house (built circa 1960) the electrical system is sub-par, and my gridís line voltage varies dramatically throughout the day (114~123 V). I also live near a lot of businesses that run interference-inducing equipment. This caused a lot of minor, but annoying, problems not only with the audio but also the video. All of this was alleviated when I inherited a Monster 3600 (I would never buy one, ridiculously over-priced).
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post #46 of 287 Old 06-24-08, 01:35 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

Hey Nathan and welcome to the Shack! You bring up some good points there.

I also inherited a Monster 3600. About the only thing it did for me is give me a ground isolation circuit for cable. Pretty minor for the cost of those things. It is cool to watch the amp meter climb during loud scenes though!
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post #47 of 287 Old 07-07-08, 01:10 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I agreed with pretty much everything given the caveats presented except for the antidigital lie. I agree that I certainly can't tell the difference between the 2 given good/equivalent recording conditions. His claim though that there isn't a difference I can't quite get behind. I am an electrical engineer and am quite famililiar with the Nyquist theorem as digital sampling is something I do for work. The difference between analog and digital though is that while analog is a continuous spectrum of volumes and frequencies, digital is by definition a discrete set. Therefore it is possible (and in actuality nearly inevitable) that nearly identical frequencies and nearly identical volume levels will in fact be recorded as exactly identical in a digital environment. That said, I agree that even at 44.1 KHz the differences are likely indistinguishable and so it's probably a difference that doesn't make a difference.

46" Sony 720p LCD
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post #48 of 287 Old 07-07-08, 02:12 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

The "lies," just like the opinion of any who take a hard line on one side or another of a generalization like they represent, are inevitalbly inadequate to decide any specific comparison that they attempt to inform. The fact is that most of them begin with some small grain of truth which gets taken out of context to create some monster (pun definitely intended). The real answer is "it depends" in each case, and any particular one of them is less interesting to me than a fact based exploration of a specific situation. The lesson that they should leave us with is that we can always find better ways to study these matters and that we should not make assumptions based upon either "conventional wisdom" nor the belief that we understand all of the variables involved in the perceived performance of the products and systems that we build and use.

Looking for me, just google my username. I have used the same one for most sites for many years.
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post #49 of 287 Old 08-25-08, 09:05 AM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

Interesting poll! However, there are some holes in the Agree/Disagree option in that it's not always a matter of Y/N, B/W, etc... In a broad, general sense I find myself agreeing with all the points but, I could also argue for disagreement on at least half of them. I opted to disagree with TWO: no.2 (tubes) and no. 10 (Golden Ears).

Again, while I don't totally disagree with the writer's point I have to say TUBES are sometimes a better choice. The writer calls the sound of a tube a "a coloration introduced by the manufacturer to appeal corrupted tastes" - such a broad statement is also a bit egocentric. First of all, taste is subjective therefore we can argue at infinitum without going anywhere. In being so absolute in the arguing against tubes he then, elevates himself to the same 'Golden ear' pedestal he himself despise. Which brings me to the other disagreement I have...Golden Ears

My ears are my work, that's how I make a living. Whereas we are all born with more or less the same apparatus, there is a HUGE difference in the way people hear things. You can have the same speaker components placed in different cavities and they will sound hugely different. We are pretty much the same.

In addition to that, there is a vast area dealing with neurological issues which we are just starting to tap into, at a research level. The brain!

Aside from having different levels of emotion and/or at least, different triggers, your brain also adapts your senses to whatever the current situation requires. You play music softly, the brain adjusts your hearing accordingly. If you very gradually increase the volume, over time, your brain will make relative adjustment so that you'll never noticed you doubled the DB level in the room, and viceversa.

Then, as he mentioned, there is training but, he didn't mention it enough. Even if everything else were equal, and it's not, training is vital to being able to hear 'more than the average' person.

I can play a UNFINISHED mix of a score I wrote to my wife or my friends (even those who are professional instrumentalists) and none of them ever ear anything except what the average person would ear: "it sounds great!", they say. I ear a totally different thing and when I point each section out to them, they all invariably say "ah, you are right. I didn't hear that...or, I didn't catch that".

So, there is a huge difference in the way people hear things, both in nature and because of training. That is not to say that one can claim some sort of super-natural Golden Ear (or goose for that matter) and base all their findings on that claim.

Overall, I agree with his general assertions: it's good that all these (sometime nonsensical voodoos) are exposed...! Though, my audiophiles friends will no doubt disagree with all of it...I mean, try and tell someone who just spent 8K (!) in speaker wire that $100.00 would have been MORE than enough
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post #50 of 287 Old 08-26-08, 03:20 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I believe that bi wiring is worthless in almost every situation. Bi wiring is suppose to improve audio quality by eliminating any electronic interference that could still exists. It splits the highs and mids on most speakers and is essentially just a waste of an extra set of speaker wire...I have tried it with dozens of different setups and have never heard a quality difference
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