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Thread: Audio Myths?

  1. #1
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    Audio Myths?

    This article came up on my Google News feed. After skimming through it, my thought was how many audiophiles actually "believe" in any of the "myths" (realizing that this article is perhaps aimed more at the home theater audience rather than audiophiles per se)?

    10 Audio Myths Debunked For Better Sound | Audioholics
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  2. #2

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Just more noise in the audiophile world.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    audiophiles love to believe in 'myths' !!
    Cheers ! …. Dave

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    I saw "audiophiles", "myths" and I knew I didn't want to click but I saw some replies so curiosity, thenI saw "audioholics and knew I made a mistake. This thread is nothing more than a new place for the usual suspects to rail on everything audiophile. This has to be the only purpose they remain.

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Just more noise in the audiophile world.
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  5. #5

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Yeah - Audioholics is in direct opposition to 99% of what's of interest in this forum, lol. From my perspective they're outright anti-audiophile; I'm sure they would disagree.

    An actual audiophile myth to me would be the so called "law of diminishing returns" - no, if you hit diminishing returns, it means you didn't upgrade the right thing

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    audiophiles love to believe in 'myths' !!
    Don't tell me there are no Unicorns Dave.
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  7. #7

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I saw "audiophiles", "myths" and I knew I didn't want to click but I saw some replies so curiosity, thenI saw "audioholics and knew I made a mistake. This thread is nothing more than a new place for the usual suspects to rail on everything audiophile. This has to be the only purpose they remain.
    Exactly. What's next? How long until someone starts posting links to Ethan Winer videos?
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  8. #8

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by brad225 View Post
    Don't tell me there are no Unicorns Dave.
    Maybe that will be the next Audioquest TOTL cable above Dragon. It will be sold by invitation only, like a prestigious club membership. No scrubs like me

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
    Yeah - Audioholics is in direct opposition to 99% of what's of interest in this forum, lol. From my perspective they're outright anti-audiophile; I'm sure they would disagree.
    Not really, the fact of the matter is most over at Audioholics have just as much enthusiasm for Hi-Fi as those of us do here.

    Audiophile Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

    I think the confusion comes in over what groups truly feel represents an 'audiophile'
    Cheers ! …. Dave

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    What I found interesting is that the article identifies a bunch of "myths" that (IME) are widely acknowledged in the audiophile community to be just that, myths. OTOH, perhaps they are thought to be true in the HT community; more damning, some of them are actually held to be true by "objectivists" and measurement-oriented commentators, so in a sense Audioholics is metaphorically shooting itself (or at least a significant portion of its audience) in the foot.
    Rob
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  11. #11

    Re: Audio Myths?

    I wouldn't go out on a limb and say the audiophile community at large doesn't agree with some of the non-HT myths outlined in that article.
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Too often I think that the internet was the worst thing that has ever happened to audio.
    Jim

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  13. #13

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    Not really, the fact of the matter is most over at Audioholics have just as much enthusiasm for Hi-Fi as those of us do here.

    Audiophile Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

    I think the confusion comes in over what groups truly feel represents an 'audiophile'
    I covered that with the "I'm sure they would disagree" part. Yes, I'm certain they're quite enthusiastic about...stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    What I found interesting is that the article identifies a bunch of "myths" that (IME) are widely acknowledged in the audiophile community to be just that, myths.
    Some of these "myths" seem like they were fabricated just for the article (or at least made to look far more controversial/contentious than they are), to lend themselves more weight as a technical authority.

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    Too often I think that the internet was the worst thing that has ever happened to audio.
    Too often I think that the internet was the worst thing that has ever happened.

  15. #15

    Re: Audio Myths?

    The folks over at audioholics are a strange bunch to say the least. They don't believe that class A amps and tube amps sound any better than standard issue receivers or cheap multi-channel home theater amplifiers. It is a middle of the road home theater website at best.

  16. #16

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    Too often I think that the internet was the worst thing that has ever happened to audio.
    x 2

    These guys concludes that a power cord doesn't make any difference just measuring.
    They don't lose any time listening to it.

    After that i just don´t care about anything, and i repeat anything, they tell about audio.
    One day, science, real science, will show how wrong are these anti-audiophile.

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    x 2

    These guys concludes that a power cord doesn't make any difference just measuring.
    They don't lose any time listening to it.

    After that i just don´t care about anything, and i repeat anything, they tell about audio.
    One day, science, real science, will show how wrong are these anti-audiophile.
    Please tell us what 'real science' would be ? I sure hope you don't believe it's nothing but subjective listening...….
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  18. #18

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    Please tell us what 'real science' would be ? I sure hope you don't believe it's nothing but subjective listening...….
    Real science is the one that, face to face with the facts, it doesn't laugh, it investigates.
    Real science is aware of its own limitations, and at every moment it reflects on them, never presenting itself as finished and definitive.
    The subjective hearing that you refer, in most cases, is linked to very objective phenomena, insofar as they are obviously observed by thousands of people all over the world. Real science does not seek to deny facts but to investigate them.

    José Rodrigues dos Santos (*), a world-famous Portuguese writer (whose writing rivals with Dan Brown), recently said in an interview that the most commonly spoken phrase by a scientist at the time of a discovery is not "Eureka" but "How strange!"
    I have no doubts that measuring instruments are not yet adequate to measure what so many ears witness.
    I say again that I have never seen a UFO but I do not ridicule anyone who claims to have seen it. That's the problem with audio skeptics. They are always looking to ridicule other audiophiles, but I still look forward to the day when real science will make them lose their smiles.

    (*) Jose Rodrigues dos Santos – Wikipedia, a enciclopedia livre

  19. #19
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    Real science is the one that, face to face with the facts, it doesn't laugh, it investigates.
    Real science is aware of its own limitations, and at every moment it reflects on them, never presenting itself as finished and definitive.
    The subjective hearing that you refer, in most cases, is linked to very objective phenomena, insofar as they are obviously observed by thousands of people all over the world. Real science does not seek to deny facts but to investigate them.

    José Rodrigues dos Santos (*), a world-famous Portuguese writer (whose writing rivals with Dan Brown), recently said in an interview that the most commonly spoken phrase by a scientist at the time of a discovery is not "Eureka" but "How strange!"
    I have no doubts that measuring instruments are not yet adequate to measure what so many ears witness.
    I say again that I have never seen a UFO but I do not ridicule anyone who claims to have seen it. That's the problem with audio skeptics. They are always looking to ridicule other audiophiles, but I still look forward to the day when real science will make them lose their smiles.

    (*) Jose Rodrigues dos Santos – Wikipedia, a enciclopedia livre
    I hear 'ya Spock, 'live long and prosper' .........
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  20. #20
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Science is about much more than measurements, and the science of perception (a "soft" science) is inherently more challenging than that of the "hard" sciences (e.g., physics or chemistry)
    Rob
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  21. #21

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Science of perception: Reality vs illusion. Our brains can be tricked into “perceiving” illusions that are demonstratively not real.

    https://www.colorado.edu/cuwizards/s...0-31_final.pdf

  22. #22

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    I hear 'ya Spock, 'live long and prosper' .........
    Thanks for wishing me a long life!

    I don't know if it will take that long...
    It is true that real science has nothing to win dealing with the world of audiophilia. No progress for the world will come if one day the many audio phenomena that so many claim to witness are proven with measurements.
    But perhaps through some indirect way we can get there. In medicine, we have long mastered the technique of anesthesia that allows to perform surgeries. And yet it is not known exactly how anesthesia works. In the same way, we have controlled electricity for a long time and yet, do we already know how electricity works? Perhaps not, judging by recent attempts at explanation.

    The Big Misconception About Electricity - YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Science of perception: Reality vs illusion. Our brains can be tricked into “perceiving” illusions that are demonstratively not real.
    Nicoff, please don't go that way. We've already had enough of Octopus
    I know you have a great system and probably a great sound. And if it sounds great and you don't see any changes by introducing power cables or other tweaks, that's good for you. Enjoy. But in my opinion the differences are not (so much) on the receiver side (each one of us) but on the sender side (the system). I can't explain why some systems show differences and others don't. But it is a fact. And many of these differences are so obvious that there is no way to diminish their impact or even deny it. My 10k system can, with the same active equipment, have a performance of 0.5K or 100k depending on the accessories and fine tuning. And this has already been witnessed by many (yes, I open my door to other audiophiles and expose my system, which many of the audio skeptics who are sure of everything about audio don't do. We know nothing about their systems or their performance, but judging by the certainties they leave written, they must have managed to achieve the best performances in home audio, no? …)

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    I think there are a few truths in the list we can discuss

    Just saying

  24. #24

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    I think there are a few truths in the list we can discuss

    Just saying
    Such as?
    I don't even see any of the claims as likely to be considered audio myths.
    These guys take opinions of some audiophiles (such as "Tweeter type X is superior to tweeter type Y") and elevate them to the category of myths to have the opportunity to counter and have a subject.

    Please, feel free to discuss these myths.
    I don't buy them!

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    Such as?
    I don't even see any of the claims as likely to be considered audio myths.
    These guys take opinions of some audiophiles (such as "Tweeter type X is superior to tweeter type Y") and elevate them to the category of myths to have the opportunity to counter and have a subject.

    Please, feel free to discuss these myths.
    I don't buy them!
    This is pretty much what I thought when I read the article, and why I started the topic. Straw Men, so to speak.
    Rob
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    This article came up on my Google News feed. After skimming through it, my thought was how many audiophiles actually "believe" in any of the "myths" (realizing that this article is perhaps aimed more at the home theater audience rather than audiophiles per se)?

    10 Audio Myths Debunked For Better Sound | Audioholics
    Interesting. I'm not an Audioholics fan but their responses for some questions weren't half bad.

    I have my own list of high-end audio myths, folklore, etc.

    1. The room is the most important component.

    2. Accessories are well, errrr, ummmmm accessories.

    3. Floor-borne vibrations induce more sonic harm than other sources of vibrations.

    4. Vibration isolation is possible to achieve and/or the only genuine vibration mgmt methodology.

    5. Superior / more natural dynamics cannot be accomplished with a passive linestage / volume attenuator.

    6. The much coveted "jump factor" characteristic is a sign of improved musicality.

    7. Aftermarket acoustic treatments are a requirement for superior sonics.

    8. Ballpark estimates are good enough for superior speaker and/or subwoofer placement / tuning.

    9. My AC is clean because all AC is clean. Or because I live in a quiet residentual neighborhood. Or because I live just down the road from the local sub-station. Or because a technican from the local power company measured my AC and told me it was clean.

    10. Dedicated circuits / lines imply that my AC doesn't need to be filtered, conditioned, purified, and/or cleansed.

    11. Our ability to sufficiently discern / interpret what we hear was inherited at birth and/or We can sufficiently discern / interpret what we hear because we passed a hearing test last year.

    12. Token or half-assed efforts are good enough.

    13. In-room recordings are of little/no value and instead one's worded claims ought to hold greater value.

    14. There is usually a direct correlation between cost and performance and/or one must spend a lot to achieve a truly musical SOTA level of playback performance.

    15. Vibration isolation products take time to settle-in before sounding their best.

    16. High-level subwoofer connections will retain the main amp's sonic signature.

    17. Subwoofer cable quality is unimportant since subs only deal with lower frequencies.

    I'm forgetting a few but IMO these are some of high-end audio's more popular myths, folklore, chasing windmills, or as I prefer to call them - preconceived narratives. And are the most sonically destructive. Well, some of them anyway.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

  27. #27
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    I would say #13 is mostly true as it is practiced, which is not to say that verbal descriptions are any better. If people made and posted in-room recordings using a binaural head and high-quality mics, with at least 16/44.1 PCM quality, that could be a different story. Let us know where some of those can be found.
    Rob
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  28. #28
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    In room recordings are not a standard , they are references ..!

    If recorded with consistency in room recordings can be used as references when doing changes or compares ..



    Regards
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  29. #29
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    In room recordings are not a standard , they are references ..!

    If recorded with consistency in room recordings can be used as references when doing changes or compares ..

    Regards
    Only for the individual, not for a shared audience, which I believe was the “myth”.

    And back to the myths, #1 is hardly a myth if one modifies it slightly to be speaker/room “interaction”
    Rob
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  30. #30
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    I read the article. Some good info there. Like anything else in audio, no one person or group has a monopoly on what is right or correct. Music is art. Audio is engineering. We hear with our brains, not our ears, so an understanding of perception is important to understanding what we hear and why. Fun stuff.
    Tom

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  31. #31

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    I have my own list of high-end audio myths, folklore, etc.

    Hi, Stehno!
    I think your miths are a challenge to all of us to answer.
    So i'm gonna try to answer to some of them in a random way. Don't forget to answer to my answers.

    Ok, first
    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    15. Vibration isolation products take time to settle-in before sounding their best.
    I said it recently in another post. It is not the devices. It´s the gear. Once you move it, you need to wait a little to the gear to calms down. You can hear differences immediately when you replace the feet or put some base to isolate vibrations, but i could swear that if you wait a little, changes may be more obvious.

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    Hi, Stehno!
    I think your miths are a challenge to all of us to answer.
    So i'm gonna try to answer to some of them in a random way. Don't forget to answer to my answers.

    Ok, first


    I said it recently in another post. It is not the devices. It´s the gear. Once you move it, you need to wait a little to the gear to calms down. You can hear differences immediately when you replace the feet or put some base to isolate vibrations, but i could swear that if you wait a little, changes may be more obvious.
    Hi, Spock. Good to hear from you.

    Vibration mgmt has to do with unwanted mechanical (and electrical) energy which is always present as is its ability / inability to travel. Unwanted energy is that which induces sonic harm to the playback presentation. True isolation, which nobody is able to practice, occurs in a moment in time i.e. in the blink of an eye. If we think of an elelctrical example where I desire to isolate electrical energy so the lightbulb in that lamp will never illuminate again, I take a pair of scissors and cut the lamp cord. Instantaneously, that lightbulb is isolated from the unwanted energy. No settling-in period. In the case of mechanical energy, whether it's traveling along an electrical wire or electrical object or the metal structure within a component is still mechanical energy traveling.

    (It's important to remember that when electric current is flowing through an electrical object of any sort, that current flow will induce a mechanical vibration. And when it does, that electrical object is now generating a resonant energy or mechanical vibration and that elecltrical object also becomes an energy conduit for mechanical as well as electrical energy.)

    The vibration isolationist inserts their vibration isolation object, say a footer sandwiched between a component and shelf, a type of racking system, footers under speakers, etc. If it's truly designed to isolate, the act of isolation will be instantaneous. Think of inserting a box of sand or kitty litter or sponge or Sorbothane under a component. These would be considered reasonable acts of isolation and once inserted mechanical energy's ability to travel away from its point source is either instantly greatly retarded or ceased entirely.

    On the other hand, mechanical settling-in is the result of time and pressure. Sufficiently installing a rigid say metal footer under a component or speaker will always take time as a certain type of molecular bond occurs over time (and pressure) to improve its ability to transfer mechanical energy from one disparate object to the next. If we think of an architectual structure anchored to say a concrete slab foundation, we know from experience that structure never fully settles but continues to settle-in over time i.e. 1 year, 5 years, 50 years, etc. IOW, the act of settling never entirely ceases as various cracks in the drywall over time to substantiate that. And the more time and pressure is available the more congruent these normally disparate objects become and the more congruent the more resonant energy is free to travel.

    Part of the confusion is that manufacturers of vibration mgmt products erroneously claim their products adhere to the vibration isolation methodology when in fact the often times rigid product actually promotes the ability for mechanical energy to travel rather than isolate.

    At least theoretically, if I squeezed two pennies extremely tight into a vice and came back the next day to release the vice, the two pennies will instantaneously separate as they drop toward the floor. But if I wait 100 years and then release the vice, there would have been an oh-so-slight melding between the two pennies almost like a light weld so that they drop to the floor as one and might even remain as one after hitting the floor.

    But another overlooked area is that with mechanical objects and their settling-in time, if there is any movement even at the microscopic level, then the act of true settling-in is greatly compromised and can indeed act a bit as an isolator. Why? Because if you place 3 spikes under a speaker and those spikes are tightly coupled at the sub-flooring, the mechanical energy generated by the speaker will cause it to move ever so microscopically on top of the spikes, hence never having opportunity to mechanically settle in. In contrast, if those spikes are tightly coupled at the sub-floor and fastened tightly to the base of the speaker cabinet, then over the next days, weeks, or even months, a truer form of mechanical settling-in occurs as the mechanical conduit (the spikes) improves over time - like the two pennies in a vice or the architectual structure anchored to the concrete slab.

    But without the opportunity to tightly fasten the spikes to the speaker, the act of mechanical settling-in can never really start. So a product designer adhering to the isolation methodology erroneously will claim his product is isolating when in reality everything about the project including its design and materials are those used by say me who adheres strictly to the resonant energy transfer principles. But what the isolationist designer is unaware of is his inferior installation method (lack of tightly fastening his product) will cause it to behave more like an isolating product. But he doesn't know it. Confusing, eh?

    But also to be clear, nobody is able to 100% isolate an object from all sources of vibration simultaneously (though many will go to their graves trying) just as nobody is able to transfer 100% of resonant energy from one disparate object to the next. Whether we actively partake or not, we're all practicing a hybrid of the two methodologies. But the more one leans toward true isolation, the more instantaneous the results.

    Andy yes, you may indeed hear some differences immediately especially when decoupling. But my focus in actual improvements and I'm unaware of any improvements occurring the more true the act of isolating. Because the more true the act of isolation is adhered to the more the mechanical energy remains trapped at its point source (the components or speakers). Because one can isolate against a single source of vibrations (just not all sources) and when one successfully isolates an object against one source of vibrations, they instantaneously trap at least least one other source of vibration at the oject so that it must release all of its energy somewhere within its trapped spaces. In contrast, sufficient means of resonant energy transfer occurs over time. Time and pressure. The more time and/or pressure the greater the results.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

  33. #33
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    In room recordings are not a standard , they are references ..!

    If recorded with consistency in room recordings can be used as references when doing changes or compares ..

    Regards
    Who says something has to be a standard before given credence? The entire industry is all over the map on most any subject matter but in-room recordings must be a standard? Or are you just trying to start another myth?

    BTW, all of my in-room videos are done with tremendous consistency.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

  34. #34

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post

    ...
    On the other hand, mechanical settling-in is the result of time and pressure.
    .../...
    Time and pressure. The more time and/or pressure the greater the results.
    Thanks for your detailed explanation.

    I guess I was wrong. If I understood correctly, in short we can say that is not (only) the gear as I thought. With pressure and time (*) the gear and the device accommodate each other, and the effect becomes more intense.

    (*) I as not seeing how time can have an effect but your example of the two pennies is perfectly illuminating.

    Let´s try another!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    17. Subwoofer cable quality is unimportant since subs only deal with lower frequencies.
    I made this mistake for to much time.
    It was just when I moved my subwoofer to the center of the main speakers that I realized how a better subwoofer cable could improve the sound.
    As I didn't need more the 5 meters (only 1,5), I decided to try an up grade in the cable.

    WOW! What a difference!

  35. #35
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    Who says something has to be a standard before given credence? The entire industry is all over the map on most any subject matter but in-room recordings must be a standard? Or are you just trying to start another myth?

    BTW, all of my in-room videos are done with tremendous consistency.
    Read what i wrote again ,
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  36. #36
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    I would say #13 is mostly true as it is practiced, which is not to say that verbal descriptions are any better. If people made and posted in-room recordings using a binaural head and high-quality mics, with at least 16/44.1 PCM quality, that could be a different story. Let us know where some of those can be found.
    I suppose it depends on one's experience - especially with generating in-room recordings.

    I find in-room video recordings quite telling. Telling about the author including their take on music quality, their ability to discern what they hear and their ability to compile a musical playback system. Telling about those who comment on such videos. Even telling of those who refrain from commenting on such videos when perhaps they should.

    But I'm curious. Why must one use binarual head and high-quality mics with at least 16/44.1 PCM quality? Again, there's very few standards anywhere in this industry but in-room recordings should have standards? By this my videos would be disqualified because I don't binaraul mics. But I do use a $150 Shure MV88 small stereo condensor mic that plugs directly into my iPhone 12 pro. Others might raise a red flag that analog does not equate to PCM quality / detail.

    But I do think there should be a handful of playback requirements. High-end audio enthusiasts are like anybody else. They are proudful, stubborn, and some sensitive to others' critiques. If one is to take another's in-room video seriously to judge in any way, shape, or form, or to publicly comment, then the listener at least ought to do their reasonable best to get the most out of the in-room recording. And that's not gonna' happen listening to a smartphone's built-in speaker at elevator music volume levels. For example. Some playback suggestions include:

    1. A reasonable or better set of headphones. Since some-to-many earbuds and smartphone speakers can be quite restrictive in what they produce.
    2. A computer to plug the headphones into. Only because many smartphones don't include headphone jacks.
    3. Playback volume must have substance. Especially since the closer we get to elevator music volume levels the more everything sounds the same.

    One other thing is that the in-room video author should suggest a headphone volume level to the readers/listeners to help ensure the listener is getting what the author thinks they should get.



    Here's an in-room recording I recently created. IMO, playback sounds best when volume level is set to maximum volume on my macbook pro with reasonable-or-better headphones.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

  37. #37
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    Thanks for your detailed explanation.

    I guess I was wrong. If I understood correctly, in short we can say that is not (only) the gear as I thought. With pressure and time (*) the gear and the device accommodate each other, and the effect becomes more intense.

    (*) I as not seeing how time can have an effect but your example of the two pennies is perfectly illuminating.

    Let´s try another!



    I made this mistake for to much time.
    It was just when I moved my subwoofer to the center of the main speakers that I realized how a better subwoofer cable could improve the sound.
    As I didn't need more the 5 meters (only 1,5), I decided to try an up grade in the cable.

    WOW! What a difference!
    Well, you have no question here but indeed. I learned a long time ago that the first thing to do when attempting to tune/voice a subwoofer to mate to a pair of "full-range" speakers was to ensure the same cabling I'm using elsewhere is also used for the sub. Cables do induce a sonic signature and even a tempo of sorts. Hence, the need to ensure the sub mates best with the mains is to use the same cabling at the sub. Mating a sub to full-range speakers ain't no easy task for me anyway. At least this helps ensure I'm starting off on the right foot.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

  38. #38
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    Only for the individual, not for a shared audience, which I believe was the “myth”.

    And back to the myths, #1 is hardly a myth if one modifies it slightly to be speaker/room “interaction”
    Excellent point. Thanks for the correction. It's no secret that many will claim the room is the most important component. I won't pretend to understand fully what they mean but I interpret such claims as the following:

    1. Custom rooms?

    2. Aftermarket acoustic treatments?

    3. Specific room sizes?

    4. Custom materials?

    5. Etc.

    But in my defense, I would say that the room is not the emphasis to your last statement or at least not the only emphasis. Rather it's the emphasis on the speaker/room interaction. First because it's regardless of a specific speaker and a specific type of room. In fact, I call this very important sector the act of acoustically coupling a speaker to its associated room. It's very important because this plays such a significant role in playback bass, balance, tonality, warmth, etc and just overall presentation.

    In fact, I just realized a while ago this speaker/room interaction has an acoustic noise floor threshold. Move a speaker here and new bass notes appear and all audible bass notes become more well-defined. Move the speaker there and bass notes disappear and those that remain audible are more poorly-defined. So there's a playback system's electrically-induced noise floor threshold and there is also an acoustically-induced noise floor threshold induced by acousitcally coupling a speaker with its associated room. But this can be done at least theoretically with any room. Though I'm sure it's more difficult with some room than others. Especially when getting into non-symmetrical or weird shaped room configs.

    But thanks for the correction.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

  39. #39
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    ...
    But in my defense, I would say that the room is not the emphasis to your last statement or at least not the only emphasis. Rather it's the emphasis on the speaker/room interaction...
    Very true. I suspect more of us are wedded to one room than to one speaker, and when that is the case then choosing one's speakers depends on much more than just finding one that sounds best at a dealer's or at a show. More power to those who can decide on their favorite speaker and then be able to build or find a room to match (of course, some have done just that; Steve Williams of WBF comes to mind)
    Rob
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  40. #40
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    Very true. I suspect more of us are wedded to one room than to one speaker, and when that is the case then choosing one's speakers depends on much more than just finding one that sounds best at a dealer's or at a show. More power to those who can decide on their favorite speaker and then be able to build or find a room to match (of course, some have done just that; Steve Williams of WBF comes to mind)
    Actually I was trying to imply that this speaker / room interaction that we both discussed is regardless of speaker and regardless of room. Even if it's a custom room supposedly built with a specific speaker in mind, the only way I know to achieve a superior interaction aka an acoustic coupling is speaker placement regardless of room type or quality.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

  41. #41
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    No doubt, but also little doubt that some speakers will just not match well with some rooms and vice-versa, which is somewhat different than optimizing what you have (or are stuck with)
    Rob
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    Tascam BR-20; Technics 1506 with tape path upgrades, FM head, DeHavilland 222 tape head pre; Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS; Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS; MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out); Pass Labs XP-12, XA60.8 (pair); Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s, VMPS Larger Sub; Daedalus/Wywires, Acoustic Zen, Sablon Audio, Wireworld, Shunyata Research cables; Core Power Equi=Power;
    Adona rack, ​​​​​Stillpoints, IsoPods, ASC, GIK Acoustics accessories

  42. #42
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    Even if it's a custom room supposedly built with a specific speaker in mind, the only way I know to achieve a superior interaction aka an acoustic coupling is speaker placement regardless of room type or quality.
    There are other (non-audiophile) ways.

    cheers,

    AJ

  43. #43

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Ok, my opinion about the room…

    I will try two miths at the same time !

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    1. The room is the most important component.
    7. Aftermarket acoustic treatments are a requirement for superior sonics.
    Here we are getting in war zone, or at least in shifting sands with these.

    First the need of acoustic treatment. IF you have a dedicated room to audio stuff, naked of furniture, where there is only the system and your chair, I would say, OF COURSE, some room treatment will be need. BUT, if you have a normal living room, with some standard furniture, probably with a sofa, curtains in the windows, a good carpet, and IF there is no echo (clap test), you don't need any acoustic treatment. Voilá! All the problems that you ear are in the system. (*)

    I don´t even think the position of the speakers are so critical than you. At some point is more a matter of taste. When things are right at the "back" of the system, as we all know, different position brings a different sound. As an example, more toe-in gives more focus and speed, less toe-in more stage and less defined bass. But somehow you feel that in a way or another things are "right" and you have to decide what you like more.

    BUT, as it seems to me that there are very few truly fine-tuned systems that have reached high levels of performance, and especially when these are expensive with pedigreed brands, the tendency is to blame the room. That´s why, in my opinion, the importance of the room is overrated.

    I leave this exercise again: imagine a room normally furnished as described above, but where it is difficult to take pleasure in an audio system. We take out the audio system and put in a piano or a bass guitar. Is it going to sound so bad that we're immediately looking for acoustic treatment?

    (* I don´t have problems with my room. And my system reacts to all changes.

  44. #44

    Re: Audio Myths?

    Let´s try another… quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    14. There is usually a direct correlation between cost and performance and/or one must spend a lot to achieve a truly musical SOTA level of playback performance.
    No. We must spend a lot of TIME and passion to achieve a great playback performance.
    BUT, when I listened some high priced gear, most of times I hear great potential but most of the time untapped. When I hear a big and strong bass, most of the times it intrudes through the other ranges and dominates and pollutes the whole presentation. When I hear a detailed presentation, most of times it is almost always anemic, “digital”, dry and lacking in groove. In many high priced systems, especially when speakers have exotic drivers, the human voice often sounds electronic and unpleasant. Most of times, the high frequencies are the “Achilles heel”, but I think in that case the problem is often outside the active components.

    To conclude and trying to explain better, large systems, namely large speakers, “amplify” everything, even the problems, and often this result in lower performance. I like and pursue the effortless scale, dimension (*) and presentation that many speakers achieve but the problem is balance. I feel that many brands are trying to solve these problems, inside the equipment or even outside of them (**). In short, money alone does not guarantee a good performance.

    (*) even bigger than natural because just like in the cinema I don't worry about a 2 meters face, I also don't dislike the instrument being reproduced beyond its natural size...

    (**)McIntosh AS125 and AS901 amplifier stands Launches as dedicated stands for its highest amplifiers - YouTube

  45. #45

    Re: Audio Myths?

    So what gear is in the Spock system?
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, HiFi Rose 150B DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

    Reviewer for Positive Feedback

  46. #46
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Klingon Class A ...!!!
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  47. #47
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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    Ok, my opinion about the room…

    I will try two miths at the same time !

    Here we are getting in war zone, or at least in shifting sands with these.
    Isn't most anything in high-end audio a potential war zone?


    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    First the need of acoustic treatment. IF you have a dedicated room to audio stuff, naked of furniture, where there is only the system and your chair, I would say, OF COURSE, some room treatment will be need. BUT, if you have a normal living room, with some standard furniture, probably with a sofa, curtains in the windows, a good carpet, and IF there is no echo (clap test), you don't need any acoustic treatment. Voilá! All the problems that you ear are in the system. (*)
    Acoustic treatments. Note that I specifically stated aftermarket acoustic treatments. I'm all for carpeting/pad, light furnishings including possible bookcases, ottomans, etc. IMO, that's all that's really needed. But then I’ve never possessed a large room nor a small room. There are those who claim we must employ aftermarket acoustic treatments and bass traps to maximize our playback presentations. Indeed, all the problems we hear are in the system. Well, sorta....., see below.


    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    I don´t even think the position of the speakers are so critical than you. At some point is more a matter of taste. When things are right at the "back" of the system, as we all know, different position brings a different sound. As an example, more toe-in gives more focus and speed, less toe-in more stage and less defined bass. But somehow you feel that in a way or another things are "right" and you have to decide what you like more.
    Speaker positioning, IMO, is the second most critical sector to address in the playback vineyard. The first being a greatly reduced playback system's noise-floor threshold. In my limited experience, speaker/sub placement and/or tuning is the only way to achieve a truly musical bass as well as provide an overall balanced and musical presentation. In theory, I suspect there is AN or perhaps THE optimal speaker placement location within a room to maximize speaker's level of musicality. I call this acoustically coupling the speaker (or sub) to the room. There is the ballpark, the outfield, the infield, and the pitcher's mound, and my experience leads me to believe that the closer I'm able to pinpoint my speaker at the exact center of the pitcher's mound, the more musical the bass and entire presentation. And the closer to the pitcher's mound dead center (wherever that is) the greater the benefits. Extraordinary benefits actually. That's why I consider this the 2nd greater improvement we can make. But oh so potentially painstaking.


    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    BUT, as it seems to me that there are very few truly fine-tuned systems that have reached high levels of performance, and especially when these are expensive with pedigreed brands, the tendency is to blame the room. That´s why, in my opinion, the importance of the room is overrated.
    There are indeed very few truly fine-tuned systems. But as mentioned earlier, like the speaker, the room itself is irrelevant while the speaker / room interaction is near everything. But this can only be accomplished by extremely precise speaker placement and it’s regardless of which room anybody is talking of. Sure, there are hideous rooms and perhaps a few outstanding room but in all cases, I’m guessing the final presentation including levels of bass, balance, tonality, warmth, etc are all greatly impacted by speaker placement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    I leave this exercise again: imagine a room normally furnished as described above, but where it is difficult to take pleasure in an audio system. We take out the audio system and put in a piano or a bass guitar. Is it going to sound so bad that we're immediately looking for acoustic treatment?
    Excellent point. I suspect there’s enough about this topic to dedicated an entire thread. But you’re example is excellent. The main point being that with a live instrument in the room, you hear it all including all the associated ambient info. Whereas with most any playback system, we hear far less than all, especially when it comes to the lowest of low-level detail which is the volumes of ambient info embedded in a given recording but much remains inaudible at the speaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    (* I don´t have problems with my room. And my system reacts to all changes.
    No but without careful speaker placement, I’ll bet dollars-to-donuts you have speaker / room interaction deficiencies.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    Let´s try another… quickly



    No. We must spend a lot of TIME and passion to achieve a great playback performance.
    BUT, when I listened some high priced gear, most of times I hear great potential but most of the time untapped. When I hear a big and strong bass, most of the times it intrudes through the other ranges and dominates and pollutes the whole presentation. When I hear a detailed presentation, most of times it is almost always anemic, “digital”, dry and lacking in groove. In many high priced systems, especially when speakers have exotic drivers, the human voice often sounds electronic and unpleasant. Most of times, the high frequencies are the “Achilles heel”, but I think in that case the problem is often outside the active components.

    To conclude and trying to explain better, large systems, namely large speakers, “amplify” everything, even the problems, and often this result in lower performance. I like and pursue the effortless scale, dimension (*) and presentation that many speakers achieve but the problem is balance. I feel that many brands are trying to solve these problems, inside the equipment or even outside of them (**). In short, money alone does not guarantee a good performance.

    (*) even bigger than natural because just like in the cinema I don't worry about a 2 meters face, I also don't dislike the instrument being reproduced beyond its natural size...

    (**)McIntosh AS125 and AS901 amplifier stands Launches as dedicated stands for its highest amplifiers - YouTube
    Actually, like the speaker, doesn't every component / accessory also behave much the same? You used the word amplified. But when a new component / accessory is truly more revealing, ought it be indiscriminate about what it reveals? You hear more music and detail but you should also hear more distorition, grunge, etc because components / accessories ought to be indiscriminate about what they reveal more of, right?
    I actually consider this more distortion, etc as a cry for help elsewhere in the system.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    There are other (non-audiophile) ways.

    cheers,

    AJ
    Who wouldn't be interested in other ways, epsecilally if they offer shortcuts? Do tell.
    "The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt and extreme forms of vibration mgmt, the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. No, wait. It's all just variations of managing electrical energy" -me

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    Re: Audio Myths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stehno View Post
    Who wouldn't be interested in other ways, epsecilally if they offer shortcuts? Do tell.
    No shortcut. Have the speaker(s), in the same exact placement, vary its directivity full bandwidth. So that in the bass, the room modes, subsequent excitement and decay lengths, are driven differently and thus perceived differently at the listening position. Direct away from "too close" boundaries if needed. Ditto for the midbass through treble, so that boundary proximities don't degrade, but rather enhance the clarity, imaging and soundstaging characteristics. Without moving a mm.
    Spatial rendering can vary quite a bit based on program material/recording techniques. The rendering requirements of a solo guitar recorded in studio is vastly different than a full orchestra in a hall. Its a fools errand to attempt both with direct plane waves radiation from 2 channels and expect similar results. That's been known for about 70 years, dating back to Bell Labs. Yet here we are.

    cheers,

    AJ

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Audio Myths?

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