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Ten Biggest Audio Lies: Agree or Disagree (If you disagree, you must explain why!) Votes are public!


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Frankly speaking, I could not agree more with your post and link. I am an electrical guy, too and I understand and concur with what you are saying. Thing is that many people believe that everything that applies to the lGHz realm is irrelevant to audio. Fractal theory teaches that this is not the case, but everything is simply a product of scale. Skin effect, conductor gauge and geometry, insulation... all of this is relevant.
Please explain how fractal theory applies and how the effect is audible. I do not disagree that most effects are scalable, but the degree of the effect is a meaningful consideration.

One of the things that you are overlooking is the effect that the AC sewer that we have coming into the house that supplies the system. Commercial power supplies are incapable of negating this crapola that rides on what 'should be' pristine 120VAC @ 60Hz. Stick a good scope in the wall and take a peek sometime. The power supply is the first place the bean counters go to suck $$$ out of manufacturing costs. SMPS that are poorly designed are really bad. How many wall warts do you have plugged into the wall? Bad juju.
SMPS actually are more likely to produce more noise than is on the a.c. line and are usually incapable of passing line noise. I have tested this many times. Conventional power supplies are far more likely to pass line noise, but not to the degree many suggest. Again, I have tested that as well and rarely been able to find it, other than in the case of common mode noise. There are effects than can be measured in many line conditioning and filtering systems, but rarely does this noise pass through a power supply, IME. Again, tested this many times as a former tech over more than a couple of decades of work with everything form high end audio to video products with SMPSs.[/QUOTE]

Nothing in the realm of audio is magic. It can all be explained by the math as a basis, but must be tempered by the reality that some things are simply unexplainable with the mathematic paradigm as it exists today. It is guys like me that are doing the research trying to provide that explanation. I don't just build them and sell them. I am seriously trying to find an explanation for the whys' and hows'. I think I am getting close to understanding and defining the impact of dielectrics on the equation in total. My mathematical skills are simply not up to snuff. That is why I am working with a young college grad who lives and breathes numbers. So does his significant other. She makes me feel stupid. The question is: why does the dielectric constant have the effect on the audio frequency band when common knowledge and current mathematical theory says that it should not? Dunno, but we are working on it.
WE appreciate the research, but I would like to see the actual data and analysis. Research is something I know a bit about. I have seen quite a bit of it and most does not support many of the assumptions and beliefs of the high end audio markets. I was once one of those believers until I learned just how much my own expectations and prior experience biased my listening. If the theory is not sufficient to explain what you can document, I would enjoy the challenge of trying to model the effects. The tools ARE available. You mentioned fractals earlier. Wavelet analysis can achieve precisely the kind of scalable analysis that will quantify such phenomena. With the high gain and high sampling rate acquisition devices available, there is no reason we cannot achieve models of any audible effect. Carver did this with very crude tools a couple of decades ago. We can do much better now with the computing power that is pervasive and the analytical tools that did not exist at the time.

There is more to all of this than meets the eye....eerrrr.... ear. Not all of us are snake oil salesmen or crooks.
Asking for your research and challenging your assumptions is not the same as calling you a crook. That simply is not what we are about here. If anyone does so, report it. It will stop. At the same time, some who share your views have suggested that those with other views are ignorant. We have been tolerant, but neither side will be allowed to make such suggestions and assumptions about others. Everyone will be expected to be respectful of the views of others.

When it comes to buying power conditioners, power cables or speaker cables only buy from a seller that offers a 100% Moneyback Guarantee that is a no quibble guarantee. Do not let the fact that something is cryoed or has other special materials processing be an impediment. Those things should NEVER be a selling point, but merely one of the many tools that a manufacturer uses to get the end product. Way too many people are gullible and buy the buzzwords associated with a product. These are the same people that wil buy the new iPhone97 or whatever. Don't condemn the entire high end industry for the gullibility of the masses.
I was part of the high end industry for years, selling some pretty expensive products, and believed what I suggested to customers. I found over many years of testing and research that many of my beliefs were not well founded. I remain skeptical about much of the industry, but rarely do I consider those involved to be dishonest. Most believe in what they sell. That does not make what they believe necessarily accurate, nor does it make the differences they experience meaningful to other people.

I'm just sayin'.
And you can say whatever you believe and relate your experience. As long as you show respect to others. Others, such as myself, can do the same, and we should challenge each other to make a good case for our perspective and we can discuss, debate, and disagree without attacking others. Just remember that challenging ideas is how we learn and share knowledge. That is very different than challenging someone's ethics.

With respect,
 

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Before I go any farther let me make a blanket apology to everyone involved here at HTS. I am not telling you this as an excuse. Quite frankly, there is no excuse or good reason for me getting my back up over this discussion. There have been some intense family issues here in Albuquerque and I am emotionally, physically on spiritually exhausted. I should have been more in control. It is my bad and I take full responsibility for my actions and reactions. I hope that you all will find me to be an honest, open and honorable man. I will tell you what I know, what I think and what I believe. I won't make stuff up and I will admit when I don't understand the how's and whys of what I hear. I am seriously trying to figure out why we ca't quantify some aspects of audio. These things drive me nuts. I'm pretty smart, but math is not my strong suit. I have enlisted the help of a young couple from church to help me in this. They are recent college grads and besides being in love with each other, they love math. Better for me this way.

I would ask you all to bear with me as I trundle down the road to quantifying all of this. Meanwhile I will carry on doing what I do.
 

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I am sorry if I pushed you over the edge. I really would like to find where we have common understanding and would like to collaborate to better model the differences that you believe to exist. To me it is a challenge that has not been sufficiently engaged by either side in these debates.

I sincerely hope that your personal challenges become easier and that you have the support of family and friends that you need, Dave.

None of the topic here is personal, nor is it as important as family.

Be well.
 

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I am sorry if I pushed you over the edge. I really would like to find where we have common understanding and would like to collaborate to better model the differences that you believe to exist. To me it is a challenge that has not been sufficiently engaged by either side in these debates.

I sincerely hope that your personal challenges become easier and that you have the support of family and friends that you need, Dave.

None of the topic here is personal, nor is it as important as family.

Be well.
The only person that pushed me over the dge was me. No worries... Bygones.

I wil be posting observed effects that exist without supporting math here in a couple of days.

I'll also respond to your post above.

Tight now I'm just toast.
 

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Thank you for the response. Finally there is some real meat in this discussion other than experience. You gave me some tangeable arguements and desciptions. Again, please don't take that as an insult because its very difficult to accept another's experience when it goes against every grain of what has been learned in school.

I do understand mil-mpec very well having worked for Lockheed here in Canada for 7 years. I'm beginning to understand the cost of cables now when mil-spec components are being used. The paper trail is very expensive and the cost gets passed onto the components.

Its interesting that after cryo, the cable resistance decreases. I would have thought an increase initially as one is seriously dropping the energy levels on the free electrons but the resistance would decrease back to the original state as the cable warms up.

I would love to A/B the cable. I'm not a believer but have opened my mind that maybe there is something more.
Since you have hung in here through all of insanity (be it temporary or not on my part) I have a proposal for you. A while back on another forum, I ran a tour of the the effects of cryogenics on the digital audio standard reference - CD We got great data back in the beginning until that was absolutely DBT agreement until the Cd's went through one particular participants hands and the Cd's just got trashed. There is even some material on one of the Cd's that looks like blobs of wax. I chose CD as a medium because it was also a test on my part to see what people thought the test was about. I didn't tell anyone why I chose it just to see what the reaction was to the test. You should see the initial reactions... pretty funny. Most people thought that te testing of cryo was on the data. Nuh-uh. Data is data. What we were really looking at is the effects of cryogenics on the polycarbonate medium the CD is built upon.

Cryogenic treatment of bench optics is a standard manufacturing process presently in HQ glass. The crystalline structure is normalized and realigned which reduces light scatter through that lens. The people that built Hubble knew that this would happen as a function of deployment and actually entered that into the calculations for that mirror, If they had only ground it correctly in the first place, then.... well, that is a different story. The trick in SQ of CD is getting the data off of the disc as accurately as possible. Encoding the data is not that hard, It is in the reading of that data that the equation becomes more complex. There are just too many variables involved. Anyway, I digress..

Cables are funny animals. They are the product of their parts and pieces and the way they are assembled. I had devised another test concerning wire that might find a better home here than at AC. I built three sets of identical interconnect cables. I shipped them to "Control" over there and USPS lost them. I have since built three more sets of cables. I used Furutech FP126(G) connectors and Dayton Audio [http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=100-220] microphone cable. It makes very good quality interconnects BTW. Drop the shield at the destination use the two conductors for hot and ground and you've got a great bang for the buck cable. All of the cables are the same wire. All of them are constructed identically. They are 'A', 'B' and 'X' with the 'X' cable easily identified by the fact that it is the only cable with a TechFlex jacket. Each set sounds different. The differences are small, but they are there. I am doing the burn in on them now. Would you like to be the Primo Guinea Pig? If so, PM me your mailing info and I'll send them to you. Others can then listen to them if they wish and upon listening you can PM me and I will tell you what the differences in the cables are. The ONLY rule here is to not divulge your results to the other players. You all can determine who gets what, when. If you want to play, it is your responsibility to pay the postage to the next victim. What do you think?

Remember: I am a 2channel fish swimming in a home theater pond. I'm probably out of the mainstream. Go easy and report what you report if you choose to. If you don't hear a difference, that is OK. I do. I am not a high end proselytizer. I'm just Dave, the baffled and searching for the answers.
 

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Hearing memory is the most inaccurate memory that humans posses, hence your recollection of it being that way. There's a reason blind audio tests are supposed to be short. Its because of inaccurate hearing memory.

Live performances in a bad acoustic environment is NOT how I want to remember how music should sound. I totally disagree with your assertion based on that.
So, what do you consider bad acoustic environment? I guess Carnegie Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC is bad acoustics, or the Merola Opera House in San Francisco also has bad acoustics (moved to Silicon Valley in 1978)? The worst acoustic environment is better than the best audio system attempting to reproduce live performance.

I also disagree with hearing memory. I've heard that argument for decades, but for some reason I can remember the acoustic environment every time it's repeated. A long time a go the local audio shop (good 'ole days) demoed several turntables in a double blind test where the owner had it behind curtains. Whenever he played the same LP on both, even after a 2hr lunch break I was consistently able to pick out the same turntable/cartridge combination. I remember returning a few weeks later and he still had both systems setup. He played both with the same LP and I asked him if this is the one most everyone liked, which he said yes.

If we have such a bad hearing memory, why do we recognize a voice on the phone from someone we haven't heard from in years?
 

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So, what do you consider bad acoustic environment? I guess Carnegie Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC is bad acoustics, or the Merola Opera House in San Francisco also has bad acoustics (moved to Silicon Valley in 1978)? The worst acoustic environment is better than the best audio system attempting to reproduce live performance.

I also disagree with hearing memory. I've heard that argument for decades, but for some reason I can remember the acoustic environment every time it's repeated. A long time a go the local audio shop (good 'ole days) demoed several turntables in a double blind test where the owner had it behind curtains. Whenever he played the same LP on both, even after a 2hr lunch break I was consistently able to pick out the same turntable/cartridge combination. I remember returning a few weeks later and he still had both systems setup. He played both with the same LP and I asked him if this is the one most everyone liked, which he said yes.

If we have such a bad hearing memory, why do we recognize a voice on the phone from someone we haven't heard from in years?
I would like to respond here if you two don't mind.

First I think that you are trying to incite dissection by your first comment which is obviously inflammatory. Of course those are great acoustic venues, even though they are both 'assisted' venues. See my earlier response.

Second your next statement concerning the worst acoustic venue is seriously flawed and a bit silly when one stops to consider the implications. If this is true, then why would we spend the $$$ to create a well balanced listening environment. Even the kludged together space that I built when we first moved into our current home will support a 180 degree soundstage beyond the rear wall. Seriously? Think about what you wrote.

Second, I concur with your assessment of experiential auditory memory. I know people that have great recall of auditory events. Doug Geist of Santa Fe Center Studios is one. He can also nail the frequency of a tone or other sonic event within 1/16 octave. I've tested him because I was in awe of his ability to call it in real time. He is the Reigning Master of EQ in these parts. Another one is Gary Dodd of Dodd Audio. I am no slouch at this either. I can hit a frequency within an eighth octave and have relative pitch. This ability is partially trained and partially natural in my case. Of course the use of th term "partially" in this context is partially a pun in itself.
 

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Cables are funny animals. They are the product of their parts and pieces and the way they are assembled. I had devised another test concerning wire that might find a better home here than at AC. I built three sets of identical interconnect cables. I shipped them to "Control" over there and USPS lost them. I have since built three more sets of cables. I used Furutech FP126(G) connectors and Dayton Audio [http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=100-220] microphone cable. It makes very good quality interconnects BTW. Drop the shield at the destination use the two conductors for hot and ground and you've got a great bang for the buck cable. All of the cables are the same wire. All of them are constructed identically. They are 'A', 'B' and 'X' with the 'X' cable easily identified by the fact that it is the only cable with a TechFlex jacket. Each set sounds different. The differences are small, but they are there. I am doing the burn in on them now. Would you like to be the Primo Guinea Pig? If so, PM me your mailing info and I'll send them to you. Others can then listen to them if they wish and upon listening you can PM me and I will tell you what the differences in the cables are. The ONLY rule here is to not divulge your results to the other players. You all can determine who gets what, when. If you want to play, it is your responsibility to pay the postage to the next victim. What do you think?

I'm just Dave, the baffled and searching for the answers.
The offer stands. All you have to do is take it.

Anyone?

Dave
 

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So, what do you consider bad acoustic environment? I guess Carnegie Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC is bad acoustics, or the Merola Opera House in San Francisco also has bad acoustics (moved to Silicon Valley in 1978)? The worst acoustic environment is better than the best audio system attempting to reproduce live performance.
I guess you don't see very many bands at a pub? Poor acoustical facilities


I also disagree with hearing memory. I've heard that argument for decades, but for some reason I can remember the acoustic environment every time it's repeated. A long time a go the local audio shop (good 'ole days) demoed several turntables in a double blind test where the owner had it behind curtains. Whenever he played the same LP on both, even after a 2hr lunch break I was consistently able to pick out the same turntable/cartridge combination. I remember returning a few weeks later and he still had both systems setup. He played both with the same LP and I asked him if this is the one most everyone liked, which he said yes.

If we have such a bad hearing memory, why do we recognize a voice on the phone from someone we haven't heard from in years?
Dr Floyd Toole differs from your opinion on memory hearing. Its the accuracy that's being questioned. I cannot dispute your hearing claims nor can I vouch for them.
 

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Hearing memory has much to do with context and bias. Voices are recognized not just because of their sonic qualities but phrasing, timing, inflection, etc.

The level of detail that memory can accommodate for hearing varies greatly with how those memories are stored and how meaningful the experience is. The accuracy is highly variable, as with all other memory, and can be affected by context.
 

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Hearing memory has much to do with context and bias. Voices are recognized not just because of their sonic qualities but phrasing, timing, inflection, etc.

The level of detail that memory can accommodate for hearing varies greatly with how those memories are stored and how meaningful the experience is. The accuracy is highly variable, as with all other memory, and can be affected by context.
This is exactly why using familiar pieces of music is necessary for ABX testing. Without that frame of reference (that is what reference is all about) there is little chance of success for an untrained listener.
 

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Discussion Starter #272
I agree... I think the only way I would have a chance to hear a difference is using the same listening material over and over... stuff I am familiar with.

I plan to have about 10-12 songs for my listening evaluation that will be consistent. I will no doubt listen to a lot more, but I need those consistent songs that I really like so that I can hear how the speakers take care of my favorite parts of the song.
 

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I agree... I think the only way I would have a chance to hear a difference is using the same listening material over and over... stuff I am familiar with.

I plan to have about 10-12 songs for my listening evaluation that will be consistent. I will no doubt listen to a lot more, but I need those consistent songs that I really like so that I can hear how the speakers take care of my favorite parts of the song.
Back in the early 80's when I became a recovering objectivist a group of us at the old QUINCY STREET SOUND recording studio set about what it took to make our relative low dollar gear sound better. Our studio tech built a random switch that would choose up to five parts with no sequence. We quickly found out that five was way too many and narrowed it down to the classic choice of three. We tested anything and everything we could try for SQ - caps, resistors, transistors, opamps, switches... The whole gamut. We quickly determined that caps, resistors and the active devices were the major players.

The best way we found to get repeatable results in excess of 80% was to let the participant choose the music and the switching times. Turned out that short snippets of relatively sparse arrangements of acoustic music worked the best. The whole bundle of snakes that is wire came 10 years later.

AJ and Danny can tell you that my mantra is this: getting the notes right is easy. It is the space between the notes that is hard. In the last few years I have added timbral accuracy to that qualifier. Black backgrounds will reveal the harmonic series of triangles, female voices, strings, etc. Also, reverb tails and other spatial clues live in that background.

The other thing about critical listening is that short periods are much better than trying too hard, too long. Take it easy and enjoy the experience... Who knows what will happen?
 

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Discussion Starter #275
I would do it during our speaker evaluation if I had time, but we already got a fully load. Maybe later on down the line we can work it out.
 

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I would do it during our speaker evaluation if I had time, but we already got a fully load. Maybe later on down the line we can work it out.
I bet you do!

I really meant this for the lay people here at the Shack. The ones that are in the discussion. All it takes is the willingness to do the listening, be intellectually honest and report their findings and to pay the postage to the next victim. Cheap education, I would think.

We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #277
I would still like to do it some time in the future... seems like it would be interesting enough.
 

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A perfect crossover, ,,,,,,, in my speaker is the biggest lies becouse
A perfect crossover, in essence, is no crossover at all. It would be one driver that could reproduce all frequencies equally well. Since we cannot have that, second best would be multiple speakers, along the same axis, with sound being emitted from the same point, i.e., a coaxial speaker that has no time shift between drivers. This gets closer to being possible, but still is elusive. Third best, and this is where we really begin, are multiple drivers mounted one above the other with no time shift, i.e., non-coincident drivers adjusted front-to-rear to compensate for their different points of sound propagation. Each driver would be fed only the frequencies it is capable of reproducing. The frequency-dividing network would be, in reality, a frequency gate. It would have no phase shift or time delay. Its amplitude response would be absolutely flat and its roll-off characteristics would be the proverbial brick wall. (Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?)
 

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Third best, and this is where we really begin, are multiple drivers mounted one above the other with no time shift, i.e., non-coincident drivers adjusted front-to-rear to compensate for their different points of sound propagation. Each driver would be fed only the frequencies it is capable of reproducing. The frequency-dividing network would be, in reality, a frequency gate. It would have no phase shift or time delay. Its amplitude response would be absolutely flat and its roll-off characteristics would be the proverbial brick wall. (Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?)
The problem with that is that the time arrival aspects are only in phase at a very narrow point in space. Up or down an inch or so and you'd get cancellation effects that will start to create holes in the response. It also will only work where there is no floor or ceiling reflection. Ceiling and floor reflections will have a very uneven response.
 
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