The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio - Page 13 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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.) 131 44.26%
I disagree with all of them. (If you vote here... do not vote again.) 11 3.72%
1. The Cable Lie: Agree 106 35.81%
1. The Cable Lie: Disagree 37 12.50%
2. The Vacuum-Tube Lie: Agree 55 18.58%
2. The Vacuum-Tube Lie: Disagree 61 20.61%
3. The Antidigital Lie: Agree 70 23.65%
3. The Antidigital Lie: Disagree 43 14.53%
4. The Listening-Test Lie: Agree 79 26.69%
4. The Listening-Test Lie: Disagree 34 11.49%
5. The Feedback Lie: Agree 72 24.32%
5. The Feedback Lie: Disagree 29 9.80%
6. The Burn-In Lie: Agree 85 28.72%
6. The Burn-In Lie: Disagree 37 12.50%
7. The Biwiring Lie: Agree 78 26.35%
7. The Biwiring Lie: Disagree 34 11.49%
8. The Power Conditioner Lie: Agree 76 25.68%
8. The Power Conditioner Lie: Disagree 41 13.85%
9. The CD Treatment Lie: Agree 94 31.76%
9. The CD Treatment Lie: Disagree 25 8.45%
10: The Golden Ear Lie: Agree 81 27.36%
10: The Golden Ear Lie: Disagree 31 10.47%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 296. You may not vote on this poll

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post #121 of 287 Old 03-26-11, 08:48 AM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

2-3 years back, I subscribed to Stereophile Magazine. Lots of reviews on equipment that was totally beyond my budget and understanding.

In one issue there was an ad for some sort of "blocks" that kept your speaker cables off the floor, and claimed to be a huge improvement in sound.

Because of this ad, I let my subscription lapse. Any mag that would accept totally bogus, "VooDoo" ads like this ain't gonna get my $$$$$.

Update: Googled these "Lift Blocks" and came up with lots of hits

http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=OSACLB6
http://www.dedicatedaudio.com/isolation
http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo.asp?number=OSACLB6
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/ar.../t-145763.html

Now, you just stay tuned, someone here will swear to God that raising your speaker cables off the floor really works.

OK...gotta go adjust the tin floil on my windows....

Jim

Last edited by jaymz; 03-27-11 at 08:48 AM.
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post #122 of 287 Old 03-27-11, 12:24 AM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

Quote:
jaymz wrote: View Post
2-3 years back, I subscribed to Stereophile Magazine. Lots of reviews on equipment that was totally beyond my budget and understanding.

In one issue there was an ad for some sort of "blocks" that kept your speaker cables off the floor, and claimed to be a huge improvement in sound.

Because of this ad, I let my subscription lapse. Any mag that would accept totally bogus, "VooDoo" ads like this ain't gonna get my $$$$$.

Jim
Congrats Man. You foiled a snake oil salesman.

BTW, if someone tries to sell you something that is "beyond your understanding", be very cautious...

Oh, and please PM me if you'd like to buy some peppermint flavored speaker cables.
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post #123 of 287 Old 06-04-11, 05:56 AM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I wanted a choice to agree +1111!!!!!!11!!eleven with some of them...

I'm happy to trust the feedback one - for opamps it dramatically improves many aspects of their performance - but I've not heard the results.

I disagreed with cable and valve lies only in a tiny way:
(1) At the time I thought you could make cables whose resistance varied more or less strongly as a function of frequency, due to the skin effect. (Sorry i didn't take the time to do the maths before clicking though - maybe if you get the resistance the same using low and high resistivity materials, the skin depth effects work out equally in the end) . If it can occur, I suspect it would be insignificant. Otherwise, I agree with R, L, C at a single frequency being enough to define cables for audio.

(2) I don't think valves are magic. But maybe the distortion they produce is pleasant. It'd be neat to ABX compare a valve amp with a solid-state amp + nonlinear filter that introduces valve-like distortion.
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post #124 of 287 Old 03-27-12, 01:48 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I wanted to agree with all of them but in good conscience I cannot... if there is substantial room for doubt then I choose to play the devil's advocate and not allow one or the other side of a polarized argument make decisions for me. Part of the problem is how that list is worded. There are several places where the specific "lie" is spread over a broad spectrum of possibilities only muddling the argument further. A good example is also the first one I disagreed with.

"The Antidigital Lie"... Disagree. "To wit: Digital sound is vastly inferior to analog." I disagree with this statement. By definition there is no reason why a digital recording cannot accurately reproduce the full acoustic spectrum of a live performance... if the bandwidth and sampling rate are high enough. "The 44.1 kHz sampling rate of the compact disc cannot resolve the highest audio frequencies..." I agree with this statement, there by making it impossible to agree with this "lie" taken as an absolute, as written.

Is this "lie" concerning 44.1 kHz sampling rates, the compact disc medium, the accuracy found in the majority of CD recordings due to mastering conventions or something else entirely different? "The most ludicrous manifestation of the antidigital fallacy is the preference for the obsolete LP over the CD." Ahh! Perhaps this is the crux of the matter? A high end turntable system with an appropriate recording (and associated speakers, etc.) can cover many more octaves than are available in the 20Hz-22kHz frequency range defined by the 44.1 kHz CD specification. Don't think there is energy below 20Hz or above 22kHz in a live orchestra? Music contains transient information and rich harmonics beyond the range of human hearing for pure tones. Even low frequency notes have leading edge transients reaching 30kHz. By recording and reproducing a frequency range broader than a conventional CD a very good "analog" system will more accurately reproduce the leading edge of individual notes allowing the listener to experience more of the entire bandwidth information of the instruments.

Never mind the arguments about jitter, dithering, clock timing, latency and the role of various DACs in accurate reproduction. Can a digital recording contain the majority of information found in a broad band analog recording? Yes. Are digital recordings and playback, in general, acoustically superior to a high quality analog system? Unfortunately, in most cases, no.

"The burn in lie" Yes, I know that this is not in regards to mechanical moving components, specifically speakers and headphones, but the author should have clarified that in the title of the "lie" or at least moved that disclaimer to the beginning of the argument, rather than at the end. Also I can disagree with some of the statements made in that very disclaimer. "Loudspeakers, however, may require a break-in period of a few hours, perhaps even a day or two..." and "That doesn’t mean a good loudspeaker won’t “sound good” right out of the box..." Statements such as these made with such authority run the risk of only creating more tangential arguments further complicating an already well muddled topic. There are headphones that require hundreds of hours of "burn in" to sound correct and some examples of drivers, specifically low xmax full range speakers, can sound absolutely terrible "out of the box". In this case the "new car with 10 miles on it" is a poor analogy... A good pair of dress shoes or boots might be more fitting (no pun intended) as they certainly can improve a great deal with plenty of time to "burn in". It's picking nits, I know, but I find it hard to give an absolute "yes, I agree".

"The Bi-wiring lie". I disagreed with this one too. If you have biwire/biamp capable speakers I suggest that you take the time and expense to try it for yourself. Why might biwire sound better? Well the first two possibilities are easy... You are running twice as much wire, in effect simulating a larger gauge. Sometimes this might be beneficial. Secondly many speakers designed for this option use metal jumpers that connect the woofer section and the mid/high section in a single wire configuration. Not only are they often made from cheaper materials but they are exposed to the elements and relatively frequent adjustments as speaker wires are connected and disconnected. Over time, from oxidation, corrosion, and build up of foreign materials (or simply from a loose binding post) these jumpers can become the weakest link in the signal path. Single wiring a bi-wire capable speaker? Try the single wire at the "high" and the "low" side of the jumpers, in turn, and see if you detect a difference. But the real question seems to come in regarding any significant electro-acoustical differences between running a single wire or two, from the same amplifier. There seems to be a lot of documentation supporting both sides of the argument and I'm led to believe that there are documented differences in measurements, in some cases. For me the hard evidence either way is too non-conclusive to simply say "Yes, I agree with the bi-wire lie". From personal experience I know that speakers with relatively large woofer sections, such as dual 12" in the vintage Teledyne AR9, or the bi-wire/bi-amp ONLY Vandersteen 2C versions (they don't even have a jumper provision from the factory... you have to make your own!) definitely benefit from a bi-wire solution, enough that I am reasonably accurate in ABX testings of such speakers. Two-way systems, covering fewer octaves with smaller woofers, might benefit less from bi-wiring.

Just my opinions.
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post #125 of 287 Old 03-28-12, 11:03 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

Very interesting to see the split regarding tubes. It is surprising that so many people still prefer distortion being added to their recordings. The mind is more powerful than any of the lies and it can make you feel anything at any given time. The placebo effect is real. I know I am not the only one that thinks my car drives better when it is clean.

I personally prefer to not buy in to the myths primarily because it has saved me tens of thousands of dollars over my listening years. Enough to pay for college tuition for my two children. That makes me smile more than any glowing tubes could ever hope to.

JD
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post #126 of 287 Old 03-29-12, 01:13 AM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

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Very interesting to see the split regarding tubes. It is surprising that so many people still prefer distortion being added to their recordings. The mind is more powerful than any of the lies and it can make you feel anything at any given time. The placebo effect is real. I know I am not the only one that thinks my car drives better when it is clean.

I personally prefer to not buy in to the myths primarily because it has saved me tens of thousands of dollars over my listening years. Enough to pay for college tuition for my two children. That makes me smile more than any glowing tubes could ever hope to.

JD
Just curious... but what company has been selling you these zero distortion solid state amps?
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post #127 of 287 Old 03-29-12, 02:57 AM
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Totally agree with all of it!! Its like any marketing, the main goal is to take your money. So create a problem to sell the solution! Easy money! There was a time when this was called robbery....
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post #128 of 287 Old 03-29-12, 06:40 AM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

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Oktyabr wrote: View Post
Just curious... but what company has been selling you these zero distortion solid state amps?
Currently no-one can create zero distortion amps! be they solid state, valve or digital. Like all things in life we produce the best we can and if acceptable, appreciate what we have.

However the quest to improve will go on, thankfully.

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver.

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post #129 of 287 Old 04-16-12, 06:55 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

This is as funny as a color TV antenna!

Long live zip cord.
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post #130 of 287 Old 04-26-12, 05:24 PM
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Re: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I will let you into a little secret. Mostly cable salesmen are snake oil salesmen. I personally assisted in the demonstration of some very grand cables ranging from a few hundred pounds to over 2000 per metre! I could not tell the difference. But there were a few people who thought they could, because the salesman uses psychology to make you feel there is something wrong with your ears if you can't - its the Emperor with no clothes story.
Now there can be differences with long lengths of line level cable due to capacitance, which can roll off the high frequencies. I had this problem once, and had to replace it with low capacitance cable, and drive it with a low impedance pre-amplifier. This is why we use powered pre-amps. If you use a 'passive' preamp, it is high impedance and therefore may suffer from the capacitance of interconnects. But for short lengths the effect is tiny.
There does seem to be some sense in using the Litz concept - using thin individually insulated strands to reduce the skin effect of copper conducters. This is real. But the good news is, you can make your own Litz cable which will sound just grand, for a few bucks. Its called telephone cable - I kid you not. I used a variety with 8 separate cores. Another cable that would work is any computer cable like cat5 cable with individual insulated wires. Try it! You might be suprised..! And its low cost.
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