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  1. #1
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    Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Deleted. Bad idea for a thread.
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  2. #2

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Blind listening/tests/comparisons are always frustrating as they break through the illusions we build up in this hobby. I have done it ad nauseam with friends and our systems over the decades. It is hardly ever an event that confirms anything but the opposite. Unless one makes drastic changes such as speakers/rooms, the rest are pretty difficult to nail down blind. Heck, even professional violin players are fooled by a cheap modern violin in a blind comparison to a coveted, multimillion dollar Stradivarius and they have professionally trained ears and talent. What chance does an average audiophile have? LOL...

    Best to just assemble a system with whatever components bring listening joy and spend countless happy hours listening to favorite music rather than chasing some absolutes that are mostly our vivid imagination to begin with. Audible (auditory/echoic )memory only lasts 2-4 seconds. Scientific fact. After that brief moment, it is our imagination... Good luck swapping cables and trying to hear a difference.

  3. #3

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...


  4. #4

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    I wouldn’t find it “fun” or “interesting.”
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  5. #5

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    You are brave to suggest blind testing in an audiophile forum.
    There are too many myths and misconceptions in high-end audio and many audiophiles are afraid to even consider blind testing afraid of what they may find out.
    Fortunately, for those inclined to explore there are some websites/blogs where you can do blind listening on certain components for the listener to decide if they can hear a difference.
    They test the effect of different components (like DACs) or purposely add jitter to the test songs for you to determine if you can actually tell a difference. Also, you can do blind listening on songs at different resolutions to see if you can tell which is which.
    One such blog is called Archimago Musings. You can google it.
    As Octopus indicated, the room and the speakers is where the big differences reside. You can definitely hear that.

  6. #6
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Deleted. Bad idea for a thread.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

    Speakers: Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary
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    Headphones/Amp: Focal Stellia phones, NAIM Uniti Atom Headphone Edition headphone amp/music player/server/streamer.

    Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 speaker cables,
    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  7. #7
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    Deleted. Bad idea for a thread.
    no worries, as Jack Nicholson once said.......... 'you can't handle the truth' ! LOL
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  8. #8
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Thanks, Dave. I appreciate your understanding. I think I'll wander on over to the Audiogon Forum. Never any controversy there.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    Thanks, Dave. I appreciate your understanding. I think I'll wander on over to the Audiogon Forum. Never any controversy there.
    go over to 'Audio Asylum', that's where the real kooks hang out !
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  10. #10

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    go over to 'Audio Asylum', that's where the real kooks hang out !
    The really kooky ones are at Audioholics and that other site that measures stuff but never says anything about how it sounds.

  11. #11
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Blind listening/tests/comparisons are always frustrating as they break through the illusions we build up in this hobby. I have done it ad nauseam with friends and our systems over the decades. It is hardly ever an event that confirms anything but the opposite. Unless one makes drastic changes such as speakers/rooms, the rest are pretty difficult to nail down blind. Heck, even professional violin players are fooled by a cheap modern violin in a blind comparison to a coveted, multimillion dollar Stradivarius and they have professionally trained ears and talent. What chance does an average audiophile have? LOL...

    Best to just assemble a system with whatever components bring listening joy and spend countless happy hours listening to favorite music rather than chasing some absolutes that are mostly our vivid imagination to begin with. Audible (auditory/echoic )memory only lasts 2-4 seconds. Scientific fact. After that brief moment, it is our imagination... Good luck swapping cables and trying to hear a difference.
    Event Memory , 2 seconds Huh , you must not be married ....!

    Blind testing (abx) works, works very well if not done with prejudice, volume matching is very important in both sighted or unsighted compares ...!


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

  12. #12

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Event Memory , 2 seconds Huh , you must not be married ....!

    Blind testing (abx) works, works very well if not done with prejudice, volume matching is very important in both sighted or unsighted compares ...!


    Regards
    Echoic memory has nothing to do with "events" but sound. If one makes an argument that they would recognize "the voice" of a loved one, sure, you can, there are many cues in a spoken word and the human voice. Of course everyone would recognize popular songs by Diana Krall instantly but I seriously doubt any audiophile would recognize Diana Krall if she called on the phone... A percentage of the population, nearly 4% in fact, cannot recognize voices of even loved ones. The memory fails them and the condition is called "phonagnosia".

    But even our "event" memory is fallible. That is simply because the memory is not a bit for bit perfect information stored on a hard drive... Our memories are an "overlay", an abstract picture that gets created by the brain when the memory is pulled from storage. Many of the details can easily change within the construct of that abstract memory recreation.

    Why any audiophile would think they can precisely recall the details of a complex recording and compare/contrast based on a memory that does not even last more than a few seconds is beyond me. Then the audiophiles go on to proclaim something "better" or "worse" without having a frame of reference what the original recording sounded like in the studio or what the instrument or a bunch of instruments within a recording should sound like without musical training and pitch perfect hearing is also beyond me. But I've stopped pondering such things and simply enjoy music. If another shiny box interests me for whatever reason, so be it, it is part of enjoying the hobby.

  13. #13

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Here is an experiment. Take your favorite song, piece of music and play it back in your head without actually listening to it. See what your brain can pull up. Can you hear all the instruments in your head with accuracy and fidelity? Just like you would on your audio system....

    No? Well, where is that memory and frame of reference then? How do you even know if it sounded the same or different and then decide it is better or worse before sharing your finding on that new tweak with the rest of the audiophile community?

  14. #14

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    While on the subject of memory...

    Are all of your memories real? - Daniel L. Schacter

    Dig into the psychology of how memories are susceptible to false information and why we shouldn’t treat them as truth.

    --

    In a 1990’s study, participants recalled getting lost in a shopping mall as children. Some shared these memories in vivid detail, but there was one problem: none of these people had actually gotten lost in a mall. They produced these false memories after psychologists told them they’d gotten lost and parents confirmed it. So what’s going on? Daniel L. Schacter explores the fallibility of our memory.





  15. #15
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    The really kooky ones are at Audioholics and that other site that measures stuff but never says anything about how it sounds.
    You mean they don't like to talk about the 'chocolatey mids and the euphoric highs' !

    Like any forum, one learns to separate those with an ounce of knowledge and those that don't really know the forest for the trees. Audiophiles are no exception !
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  16. #16
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    You mean they don't like to talk about the 'chocolatey mids and the euphoric highs' !

    Like any forum, one learns to separate those with an ounce of knowledge and those that don't really know the forest for the trees. Audiophiles are no exception !
    Correct .
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  17. #17

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Echoic memory has nothing to do with "events" but sound. If one makes an argument that they would recognize "the voice" of a loved one, sure, you can, there are many cues in a spoken word and the human voice. Of course everyone would recognize popular songs by Diana Krall instantly but I seriously doubt any audiophile would recognize Diana Krall if she called on the phone... A percentage of the population, nearly 4% in fact, cannot recognize voices of even loved ones. The memory fails them and the condition is called "phonagnosia".

    But even our "event" memory is fallible. That is simply because the memory is not a bit for bit perfect information stored on a hard drive... Our memories are an "overlay", an abstract picture that gets created by the brain when the memory is pulled from storage. Many of the details can easily change within the construct of that abstract memory recreation.

    Why any audiophile would think they can precisely recall the details of a complex recording and compare/contrast based on a memory that does not even last more than a few seconds is beyond me. Then the audiophiles go on to proclaim something "better" or "worse" without having a frame of reference what the original recording sounded like in the studio or what the instrument or a bunch of instruments within a recording should sound like without musical training and pitch perfect hearing is also beyond me. But I've stopped pondering such things and simply enjoy music. If another shiny box interests me for whatever reason, so be it, it is part of enjoying the hobby.
    Too bad you don't quit posting things you have read that are all negative while you "simply enjoy the music" that you can't remember for more than a few seconds.
    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, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

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  18. #18
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Too bad you don't quit posting things you have read that are all negative
    Funny, I took Serge's post more as a 'here's the facts', again something many audiophiles can't accept
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  19. #19

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    Funny, I took Serge's post more as a 'here's the facts', again something many audiophiles can't accept
    Dave, that would be the logical way to take my post. Those are the facts. Our memories are far from perfect and sound memory is the worst of all. Plenty of scientific studies done. We struggle to remember faces of our loved ones after they are gone many years. Our memories are very abstract, often flawed and we are easily susceptible to false memories.

    None of that should take away from the enjoyment of music and our hobby. The creative writing, AKA impressions/comparisons/reviews, I also believe the majority to be good willed as people really think they have heard a difference....

    I am personally not convinced we can reliably tell a difference since we cannot recreate a song/music in our head from memory. To focus on specific sounds such as vocals or instruments within a song, once again, these memories are abstract and not detailed such as our consciousness would experience while listening to it through an audio system live. Once the few seconds are up, the details are gone. Next time you hear it, the "overlay" that is our memory of that song/sound, will match up with what we are hearing and you will recognize it as such but the new event may sound same or different in its details and I believe expectations have much to do with that part.

    I believe all lion roars will register as lion roars but do all the lions sound the same??? We will perhaps never truly know.

  20. #20

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Too bad you don't quit posting things you have read that are all negative while you "simply enjoy the music" that you can't remember for more than a few seconds.
    Yeah, I had this wicked upbringing that allows me to face facts in life and deal with them. I see others struggle with that in life...

  21. #21
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Tried to delete this thread. Guess I don't know how to. What the hey, learned some things anyway.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

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  22. #22
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Dave, that would be the logical way to take my post. Those are the facts. Our memories are far from perfect and sound memory is the worst of all...
    If you think about it, this pretty much disqualifies blind testing as well, unless you think you can analyze everything about sound quality in 2 seconds or less...
    Rob
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  23. #23

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    If you think about it, this pretty much disqualifies blind testing as well, unless you think you can analyze everything about sound quality in 2 seconds or less...
    It does. But blind testing was always a good hint that we struggle to pick up on differences. We know why. Our ears have never been an accurate scientific instrument for comparing and contrasting minute differences in sound. Not to mention that it is nothing more than electrical impulses that are sent from the ear mechanism to the brain and depending on physiological and ethnic differences, we even hear differently enough to have a strong preference or dislikes for certain styles/genres of music depending on "how" we differ in our hearing. Hence the cultural preferences and the difference in musical expression and styles of musical instruments.

  24. #24

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    Tried to delete this thread. Guess I don't know how to. What the hey, learned some things anyway.
    Is there anything wrong with having an intelligent conversation? Or do we only discuss things that do not break the traditional beliefs and so long as they do not shatter illusions built up over decades? Again, why should any of this prevent anyone from enjoying music? Or buying your favorite pair of speakers, amps, preamps, etc... Unless of course your goal is to compare/contrast high end audio all day long? In that case we are not really prepared without scientific instruments but we don't like those in our hobby.... Those instruments often tell us there is no difference where we hear a difference. I wonder why that is LOL

  25. #25

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Auditory Illusions are a whole other topic but fascinating how the ear/brain connection works. Here is an interesting bit. Just one of many from the auditory illusions collection... Hearing vocals where there are none. It only works if you know the song and the brain goes to work filling in the lyrics.



  26. #26

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    The other interesting phenomena is that our senses are strongly connected together. It is amazing that many more senses come into play to arrange for a complex reality we experience with our conscious mind. In this video the information processed by the visual cortex helps the auditory complex create spoken words in our brain.


  27. #27

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Next time something you hear goes in one ear and out the other, you have a built-in excuse. Just blame it on your Achilles' ear—a weakness that lies not in a mythical hero's heel, but in the real-life way the brain processes sound and memory.

    That's the suggestion of a University of Iowa study comparing how well we recall something, depending on whether we see it, hear it, or touch it.
    Associate professor of psychology and neuroscience Amy Poremba and graduate student James Bigelow asked a hundred undergraduates to participate in two related experiments. In the first, students listened to sounds, looked at images, and held objects. Then, after an interval ranging from one to 32 seconds, they were asked whether various stimuli were the same or different from the originals.

    In a second experiment, the students were asked to recall sounds, images, and objects after an hour, a day, and then a week. In both instances, the students' auditory recall came in last, lagging far behind the tactile and visual memories, which the students recalled at about the same level. The longer the time that elapsed, the greater the gap became, with auditory memory lagging farther and farther behind the other types of memory.


    A Message From Your Brain: I'''m Not Good At Remembering What I Hear

  28. #28
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Echoic memory has nothing to do with "events" but sound. If one makes an argument that they would recognize "the voice" of a loved one, sure, you can, there are many cues in a spoken word and the human voice. Of course everyone would recognize popular songs by Diana Krall instantly but I seriously doubt any audiophile would recognize Diana Krall if she called on the phone... A percentage of the population, nearly 4% in fact, cannot recognize voices of even loved ones. The memory fails them and the condition is called "phonagnosia".

    But even our "event" memory is fallible. That is simply because the memory is not a bit for bit perfect information stored on a hard drive... Our memories are an "overlay", an abstract picture that gets created by the brain when the memory is pulled from storage. Many of the details can easily change within the construct of that abstract memory recreation.

    Why any audiophile would think they can precisely recall the details of a complex recording and compare/contrast based on a memory that does not even last more than a few seconds is beyond me. Then the audiophiles go on to proclaim something "better" or "worse" without having a frame of reference what the original recording sounded like in the studio or what the instrument or a bunch of instruments within a recording should sound like without musical training and pitch perfect hearing is also beyond me. But I've stopped pondering such things and simply enjoy music. If another shiny box interests me for whatever reason, so be it, it is part of enjoying the hobby.
    Hahaha , Good one ....
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  29. #29
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    It does. But blind testing was always a good hint that we struggle to pick up on differences. We know why. Our ears have never been an accurate scientific instrument for comparing and contrasting minute differences in sound. Not to mention that it is nothing more than electrical impulses that are sent from the ear mechanism to the brain and depending on physiological and ethnic differences, we even hear differently enough to have a strong preference or dislikes for certain styles/genres of music depending on "how" we differ in our hearing. Hence the cultural preferences and the difference in musical expression and styles of musical instruments.
    Too many apples and oranges , Curious how many ABX listening tests have you been involved in ..?



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

  30. #30

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Too many apples and oranges , Curious how many ABX listening tests have you been involved in ..?



    Regards
    Plenty of blind listening tests over the decades of being involved in this hobby. None of the more involved ABX tests invented in the 1950's and long before neuroscience determined that our echoic memory is only good for a few seconds...

    If you think about what neuroscience tells you, that our echoic memory is very short and unreliable as I have already posted numerous times, then one begins to understand that ABX tests would also be unreliable if they are longer than a few seconds as our brains are not able to retain such details.

    Now of course that would depend on the actual complexity of sound, wouldn't it... If there are totally different sounds involved, I can see that experiment being valid and most of the population would pass with flying colors (sounds of a Lion, Alarm Clock and whatever X presents in ABX tests as an example) but splitting hairs trying to hear a difference between notes and all the information captured on a complex, multi-instrumental recording? That's a totally different task all together.

    Like I said, think about pulling a memory of your favorite song and see if your brain can play it back for you note by note with fidelity, so then you can compare to what you are hearing with variables in your system.

  31. #31

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    I personally found the whole thing quite liberating after decades of being obsessed with the quest for perfect sound... There is no perfect sound, there is no perfect memory but being able to enjoy the hobby and countless hours of listening bliss to your favorite music, over your favorite playback gear, is priceless.

  32. #32
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Plenty of blind listening tests over the decades of being involved in this hobby. None of the more involved ABX tests invented in the 1950's and long before neuroscience determined that our echoic memory is only good for a few seconds...

    If you think about what neuroscience tells you, that our echoic memory is very short and unreliable as I have already posted numerous times, then one begins to understand that ABX tests would also be unreliable if they are longer than a few seconds as our brains are not able to retain such details.

    Now of course that would depend on the actual complexity of sound, wouldn't it... If there are totally different sounds involved, I can see that experiment being valid and most of the population would pass with flying colors (sounds of a Lion, Alarm Clock and whatever X presents in ABX tests as an example) but splitting hairs trying to hear a difference between notes and all the information captured on a complex, multi-instrumental recording? That's a totally different task all together.

    Like I said, think about pulling a memory of your favorite song and see if your brain can play it back for you note by note with fidelity, so then you can compare to what you are hearing with variables in your system.
    You still haven't said much while saying much , how many compares and scenarios , as an hobbyist or professionally , large or small selection of audiophiles or just regulars. Your comments are all hip shooting IMO , its like hearing someone describe how a car or bike handles from reading magazines ..!

    Its all i cant so you cant too ...!


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

  33. #33
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    I personally found the whole thing quite liberating after decades of being obsessed with the quest for perfect sound... There is no perfect sound, there is no perfect memory but being able to enjoy the hobby and countless hours of listening bliss to your favorite music, over your favorite playback gear, is priceless.
    Yes, agree ,

    a bad hifi system from poor choices have many feeling this way , its not unusual, plenty bad hifi out there , i would quit too ..!






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

  34. #34

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Yes, agree ,

    a bad hifi system from poor choices have many feeling this way , its not unusual, plenty bad hifi out there , i would quit too ..!






    Regards
    Wayne I’m presenting you with scientific facts. You are free to keep using the old audiophile excuses, “ your ears are not good enough, your system is not good enough, you can’t hear difference with cables so you are not an audiophile, etc.” I have no problem with whatever illusions folks want to keep entertaining if it makes them happy. I personally do not derive any joy or have to live with the same illusions.

    There have been plenty of examples where the best ears in the industry could not reliably tell between various resolution files, no one stepped up for the million dollar challenge to reliably identify difference in cables in a blind test, etc… ad nauseam

    Have fun comparing whatever it is you want to compare. The music will still be there in all its imperfect glory.

  35. #35
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    I dont recall saying any such as i also don't recall getting an answer



    ABX compares or compares in general is whats necessary from a design development point of view and not necessary for an audiophile buying and choosing their hifi system, from an end user point of view the system is to make them happy , so of course with their value system in place , the decision to purchase any particular item has nothing to do with mainly compares, or even sonics alone , cost, looks , finish , pride of ownership , WAF , et al will come into play ....



    But feel free to obscure the obvious again, after all who can hear the difference ...!


    Regards

    PS: Two Brothers exhaust , did your hearing in
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  36. #36

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    This is fun. Test your audiophile ears.

    The Music Lab

  37. #37
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    I dont have Audiophile ears , who sell those ..!!!


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

  38. #38
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    I'm still trying to find several blind people so that I can do a test.
    My System:
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  39. #39

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    After all the years of borrowing cables and gear for home auditions/comparisons and listening deep, most often coming to the conclusions that if I do hear a change, it is just a small difference rather than a definitive better/worse with most components and cables (not so with speakers!), I was always curious how the audiophile expects to do a comparison based on memory. This is akin to comparing the Mona Lisa to a another version and pointing out differences. Would not be possible unless both are in front of you at the same time. Can't do that with music. A few seconds of music is already in the past, not the present...

  40. #40
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    After all the years of borrowing cables and gear for home auditions/comparisons and listening deep, most often coming to the conclusions that if I do hear a change, it is just a small difference rather than a definitive better/worse with most components and cables (not so with speakers!), I was always curious how the audiophile expects to do a comparison based on memory. This is akin to comparing the Mona Lisa to a another version and pointing out differences. Would not be possible unless both are in front of you at the same time. Can't do that with music. A few seconds of music is already in the past, not the present...


    Wasn’t this your system? Gorgeous room!


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  41. #41
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    After all the years of borrowing cables and gear for home auditions/comparisons and listening deep, most often coming to the conclusions that if I do hear a change, it is just a small difference rather than a definitive better/worse with most components and cables (not so with speakers!), I was always curious how the audiophile expects to do a comparison based on memory. This is akin to comparing the Mona Lisa to a another version and pointing out differences. Would not be possible unless both are in front of you at the same time. Can't do that with music. A few seconds of music is already in the past, not the present...

    Still hearing i can’t so you can’t too ...!





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

  42. #42

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post


    Wasn’t this your system? Gorgeous room!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Yes that’s my room. Thanks. I’ve built many different systems over the years and spent a ton of money on cables too.

    Different rooms and different speakers will be an obvious change and of course they have their unique sound signature.

    It was also fun to try to figure which of the few dozen more popular cables made what difference over the years but in reality, even if they did, it was difficult to pinpoint for all the reasons we already discussed here.

    Also not having a gauge or a frame of reference, it is up to our ears to interpret results of accuracy. I’m not tone deaf and I have good hearing that is in range for my age bracket of mid 50’s. Tweeters are starting to become less important over 15,000Hz which is normal but I’m not musically trained although I can appreciate a Stradivarius violin played well but only if I am told that’s a Stradivarius

    Macro changes are one thing because there will be an obvious improvement that will persist over a variety of recordings, better bass response, better imaging, etc that we can latch on to and appreciate.

    Micro changes where the differences are small or non-existent in reality are up to our imagination based on everything I have learned about how memory works and it’s fallibility.

  43. #43
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    You mean they don't like to talk about the 'chocolatey mids and the euphoric highs' !

    Like any forum, one learns to separate those with an ounce of knowledge and those that don't really know the forest for the trees. Audiophiles are no exception !

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  44. #44
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs... this is the title; I did not do blind tests; but over the last 5-7 years I've changed all of these components in my system and without fail each has made a clear impression on my idea of what I enjoy. Speakers I think we all can agree make a huge difference. Amps; I find I constantly come back to tubes. Dac's, I've only tried a few and the one I'm using now made all the other components in my system as good as systems I've heard costing 10 times as much. So for a guy on the low end of hifi (I buy everything used) total cost of my system used is about 12K used maybe 20K if new all are current models. Also I only stream, no analog. I also did treatments in the room. Cables - One cable that did show an improvement was from my computer to my Dac. (not very expensive) but there was a clear improvement in sound definition, separation, clarity whatever you call it. So after writing this maybe I'm posting on the wrong thread. Not blind; but I was comparing components to see if I could hear (enjoy) something better.

  45. #45
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    I can tell you had fun and burning up the internet browsers. I'm surprised that some here agree with you. Many of your analogies don't apply. Most of the time when I see rants like yours by those on forums it shows a lack of experience and/or understanding. Or, just being a troll. Anyone who wanted to take the time can go on YouTube and find just as many counterpoints to your posts.

    I will never believe that audio memory crap. Save some time, I don't care how many internet articles you produce. It's like you telling me it's midnight while I'm standing with the sun on my face. Same with all audio components sound the same.

    I've heard some brands enough I know what they sound like. I may not even remember every song I heard on the gear but I know MBL vs McIntosh vs ARC VS Levinson, etc.. Anyone should be able to hear differences in any component category including cables. You have to be able to hear if something is more or less appealing, whether you detect more detail, differences in sound stage, etc. To me if you can't there's something wrong with YOU. Granted someone just startng out my need some time to learn what to listen for but those of you who have supposedly had higher end gear and still siding with Serge's opinion, what's wrong with you? It's those who have the issue, how can you pick out expensive gear without a defense of why you bought it, what did you hear that made you spend that much money? You are stupid to do that and not hear any difference.

    One thing you, and those like you, fail to understand, it's not the song note for note I remember so much, it's the sonic character of how it's presented. I can try to explain that but I'm sure you won't get it.

    And, as Wayne pointed out, we are not all the same. Ever stop to think YOU may be the one defective and everyone else hears what they hear?

    You waste your time trying to convince how poor our auditory system is but I would suggest science has barely scratched the surface on any understanding.

    Auditioning takes more than a few seconds. DBT is a joke, the reason they don't work is they are afraid someone might be able to hear a difference, you usually get about one second, not enough to even recognize the song let alone any character.

    There is so much more going on in the sound of music we hear, not just notes. If it was just notes we wouldn't care how they sounded.

    Personally if you aren't able to hear the differences in audio gear I don't understand why you are here at all.



    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Yes that’s my room. Thanks. I’ve built many different systems over the years and spent a ton of money on cables too.

    Different rooms and different speakers will be an obvious change and of course they have their unique sound signature.

    It was also fun to try to figure which of the few dozen more popular cables made what difference over the years but in reality, even if they did, it was difficult to pinpoint for all the reasons we already discussed here.

    Also not having a gauge or a frame of reference, it is up to our ears to interpret results of accuracy. I’m not tone deaf and I have good hearing that is in range for my age bracket of mid 50’s. Tweeters are starting to become less important over 15,000Hz which is normal but I’m not musically trained although I can appreciate a Stradivarius violin played well but only if I am told that’s a Stradivarius

    Macro changes are one thing because there will be an obvious improvement that will persist over a variety of recordings, better bass response, better imaging, etc that we can latch on to and appreciate.

    Micro changes where the differences are small or non-existent in reality are up to our imagination based on everything I have learned about how memory works and it’s fallibility.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
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  46. #46

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I can tell you had fun and burning up the internet browsers. I'm surprised that some here agree with you. Many of your analogies don't apply. Most of the time when I see rants like yours by those on forums it shows a lack of experience and/or understanding. Or, just being a troll. Anyone who wanted to take the time can go on YouTube and find just as many counterpoints to your posts.

    I will never believe that audio memory crap. Save some time, I don't care how many internet articles you produce. It's like you telling me it's midnight while I'm standing with the sun on my face. Same with all audio components sound the same.

    l.
    You can take your attempt at trying to insult me and science and stick THAT where the sun don’t shine.

    When and if you decide to have a rational conversation, feel free to provide science backed counter arguments not your cheesy attempts at shaming me for expressing my own opinion and findings which were many years later explained by science.

    Your echoic memory last a few seconds and people fail miserable at accurately recalling auditory information. That’s what many studies have revealed and they were administer by intelligent people. Science has nothing to do with silliness of hearing a difference between cables but real world applications and understanding that our echoic/auditory memory is poor to begin with but when it is even worse it leads to speech impairments and poor language development in kids.

    You must be special because you are a self proclaimed “audiophile’ and that Cracker Jack box derived certificate gives you the right to ignore science. That’s your choice.

    James Randi of the James Randi Educational Foundation, for years offered a million dollars to anyone with those golden audiophile ears who can pass a double blind test and prove expensive cables from manufacturer Pear that were highly praised in reviews sound better. No one stepped up. Michael Fremer thought he’d give it a shot. James passed away last year without ever having anyone challenge him and the cable manufacturer chickened out when they had the chance to prove their cables make a difference. No surprise.

  47. #47

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    As to the question “why am I even here” which made me laugh... Because I still enjoy high end audio and craftsmanship that can reproduce music with a degree of fidelity that increases my enjoyment over a lesser, mid-Fi setup. At no point in the past 5 years am I still disillusioned that I need to be able to convince myself that playing the same track over and over while swapping cables needs to produce a result. I’ve had over 25 years of that practice and I’ve had enough.

    Praying and kneeling at the altar of the high end audio manufacturers making bold and completely unscientific claims is not mandatory to enjoy the hobby as I have found out much to my surprise…

    But to each their own. If you hear it, believe in it and so it shall be.

  48. #48
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    I dont have Audiophile ears , who sell those ..!!!


    I think they come with speakers made by GoldenEar
    -----------------
    Brian

    Main System -
    Rotel RCD-1572 / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Fyne Audio F502SPs > Synergistic Cables

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  49. #49

    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    I for one was completely satisfied with the insight gained and how it applies to the hobby after looking into the subject. In no way did it diminish my enjoyment of music itself. The gear swapping merry go round did stop but I put together an enjoyable system and stopped there for once. I’m ok with that balance and satisfaction level.



    “Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that when it comes to memory, we don't remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch.

    "As it turns out, there is merit to the Chinese proverb 'I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember," says lead author of the study and UI graduate student, James Bigelow.

    "We tend to think that the parts of our brain wired for memory are integrated. But our findings indicate our brain may use separate pathways to process information. Even more, our study suggests the brain may process auditory information differently than visual and tactile information, and alternative strategies -- such as increased mental repetition -- may be needed when trying to improve memory," says Amy Poremba, associate professor in the UI Department of Psychology and corresponding author on the paper, published this week in the journal PLoS One.

    Bigelow and Poremba discovered that when more than 100 UI undergraduate students were exposed to a variety of sounds, visuals and things that could be felt, the students were least apt to remember the sounds they had heard.

    In an experiment testing short term-memory, participants were asked to listen to pure tones they heard through headphones, look at various shades of red squares, and feel low-intensity vibrations by gripping an aluminum bar. Each set of tones, squares and vibrations was separated by time delays ranging from one to 32 seconds.

    Although students' memory declined across the board when time delays grew longer, the decline was much greater for sounds, and began as early as four to eight seconds after being exposed to them.


    It gets worse with age…

  50. #50
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    Re: Blind comparisons of speakers, amps, and DACs...

    "a degree of fidelity that increases your enjoyment", how do you know that? Did you DBT all your components against the "mid-fi" to be sure there was adifference?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    As to the question “why am I even here” which made me laugh... Because I still enjoy high end audio and craftsmanship that can reproduce music with a degree of fidelity that increases my enjoyment over a lesser, mid-Fi setup. At no point in the past 5 years am I still disillusioned that I need to be able to convince myself that playing the same track over and over while swapping cables needs to produce a result. I’ve had over 25 years of that practice and I’ve had enough.

    Praying and kneeling at the altar of the high end audio manufacturers making bold and completely unscientific claims is not mandatory to enjoy the hobby as I have found out much to my surprise…

    But to each their own. If you hear it, believe in it and so it shall be.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

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