The Audiohpile Ear
Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Page 1 of 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 106
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    216
    Post Thanks / Like

    The Audiohpile Ear

    Now, I know we all rely on our "ears" to judge the outcome of such things as comparison of cables, components, speakers, etc...

    We are often left with no other choice as "science" and the "audio world" do not always walk hand in hand and we know that all too well.

    When science fails to offer a measurable difference in cables, when amplifiers measure the same, different power cords measure the same... We still claim to hear a substantial difference and the difference, or that which is immeasurable at this point, must be an elusive, mystical and perhaps quantum level phenomena.

    Surely we have to have confidence in our "ears" or our hobby would be sort of pointless as far as chasing cables, isolation tweaks and other gadgets and gizmos go.

    But... if some of the audiophiles are not musicians (much like many musicians are not audiophiles) could our ears be as good or perhaps better than a trained musician?

    Many of us have heard the wonderful and almost mystical sound of a Stradivarius or Guarneri violin. Some claim they can never be duplicated. They cost upwards of $8M dollars. The sound is sublime.

    Surely then professional musicians and specifically pro violin players should be able to hear a difference between a Stradivarius and a new violin while blindfolded?

    Turns out that is not the case at all. I found that very surprising. https://www.newscientist.com/article.../#.U0QrXK2wJi5

    So who thinks the "Audiophile Ear" is different from a "Professional Musican Ear" and could there be a difference?
    Serge

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,420
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    This has the potential to get ugly, but here goes.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    Surely then professional musicians and specifically pro violin players should be able to hear a difference between a Stradivarius and a new violin while blindfolded?

    Turns out that is not the case at all. I found that very surprising. https://www.newscientist.com/article.../#.U0QrXK2wJi5

    So who thinks the "Audiophile Ear" is different from a "Professional Musican Ear" and could there be a difference?
    No, they are both connected to human brains.
    There are countless other studies that will show the same type thing. Not that all amps and cables. etc. sound the same - they don't, but rather that in many cases, if you reduce things to sound>ears only, there may be either no difference detected, or you did, but it turns out you prefer the opposite than you thought you did. I've seen plenty of both.
    The issue, is that you don't "hear" only the "sound" of a Strad or an amp or cable, except in a controlled/blind test. In "real life" "listening" you experience it. With your eyes, with your preconceived notions, touch, feel, belief, etc, etc. etc. Our only CPU has multi-sensory input. All are telling it something.
    It is only under that condition, if it makes you happy, that should should base your decisions on.
    A Timex may actually tell time slightly more accurately than a Rolex, not the opposite. But if offered either for free, most will take the Rolex. They both tell the same time. But the intrinsic pleasure, pride of ownership, "experience", etc. derived from the Rolex, will not be the same as the Timex. Just don't bash the Timex, Pioneer amp, Monster cable or the new violin. They may make you look silly in a blind test.
    Instead, enjoy the total experience of what you have, for what it is. There is strong science to suggest one really does derive more pleasure if one believes that thing is "better", regardless of whether it is.

    cheers,

    AJ

  3. Likes Mechnutt, ahofer liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    216
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    I agree. Our preconceived notions that something is more desirable and better because it is more expensive, up to and including hearing differences in a more expensive cable may very well be the explanation. The blindfold tests seem to confirm that fact, even when it comes to Stradivarius violins and professional ears. If one "expects" to hear a difference, it will be heard. When one does not involve the other senses and has no bias since it is not a purchase but an objective "blind" test, things become much more complex. But the main point is probably this, whether that cable made a difference or not, if one believes it did, it is all that matters to that individual. Illusion becomes indistinguishable from reality.
    Serge

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,420
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    Here is one of the best I know of:

    https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/105/3/1050.full.pdf

    We conjecture that any action affecting expectations of product quality, such as expert quality ratings; peer reviews; information about country of origin, store, and brand names (especially those associated with luxury products); and repeated exposure to advertisements might lead to effects similar to those identified here.
    The paper provides evidence for the ability of marketing actions to modulate neural correlates of experienced pleasantness and for the mechanisms through which the effect operates.
    IOW, the science supports the notion that one should spend as much as you wish, because one really does derive more pleasure, based on this experience.
    If anyone ever questions why you should spend so much on something and there's no science to support that, show em this article.

    cheers,

    AJ

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    216
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    Bingo. I’m familiar with fMRI by the way, that was my job.
    Serge

  7. #6
    Audioshark
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    24,627
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    I’ve played sax for 40 years. Won awards. They’re hanging in my den. I can tell you, there are some wonderful saxophones and some real stinkers on the market today. Mine is a 1968 Selmer Mark VI, hand made in Paris. It’s only a few serial numbers off of David Sanborn’s. It has the tone I prefer. Is it the best? There is no best, it’s what suits your ear and your style of play. Have I played better? Yes, the new Yanigasawa AW037 had much better action, a more modern pitch and was much easier to play (“blow”), but it’s not my style. Comparing a modern Yanigasawa or Yamaha to a classic Selmer (especially a Selmer Balanced Action - like Paul Desmond played or Mark VI) is completely different.

    As for cables, it’s one of the topics that drives me nuts. I get calls weekly from some cable company proclaiming their new cables to be the greatest thing since sliced bread and telling me it will beat anything I have today. Blah, blah, blah. It gets exhausting and has become somewhat comical. Just tour Munich and you will see a gazillion cable brands. Find the little Chinese lady by the front door on the main level and she will tell you all the manufacturers she makes cables for. It’s a long list. Want to make some Suncoast Audio cables for your customers? She has spools of different cables ready to be branded.

    For me, cables DO MATTER. I chose my cable brands carefully. AudioQuest has a cable for every budget. Literally, EVERY SINGLE budget. They have a cable for everything. They have the widest selection I’ve ever seen. Their cables are super well made and dead nuts neutral pretty much. Never had to send one back for repairs either.

    Shunyata works. It just works. They even have the measurements to show the NR technology at work. IT WORKS! Avantgarde’s like low noise floor and “meat on dem bones”. Shunyata checks both boxes. My system at home is covered with Shunyata.

    MIT? Well, Magico likes MIT. Magico works great with MIT. I don’t know why, but you can hear it. It’s immediately noticeable. They sound more dynamic.

    I recently added Analysis Plus because A. They sound great with MSB DAC’s and B. MSB really likes them for their DAC’s. So do I. I keep them focused on loaning to my MSB clients.

    I frankly don’t care where anyone sits on the whole cable debate. I have friends who are happy with Home Depot outdoor lighting cable (true) and others who insist on the best from their favorite brand - buying the best Transparent, WW, whatever there is.

    If anyone is a cable disbeliever (“they all sound the same”), I would invite them to the store for a simple demo we give. We take the Gryphon Diablo 300 (with DAC) and change ONE CABLE - the power cord. We will compare the stock cable to the AudioQuest Hurricane HC. The improvement is not subtle and the biggest disbelievers have been made into believers. One cable made that much improvement.

    As for measurements, we can’t measure everything we can hear and that remains the rub. But let the science guys stick with their measurements. I’ll trust my ears.

    If people are in the “my $50 cable is good enough” camp, good! They also won’t buy a turntable and be happy with their Sony or Oppo CD player as the perfect sound forever. Not going to waste my time trying to convince them either. Their loss, but probably just not their thing. Ignorance is bliss.

    Hey, I’m the guy who bought a $99 bicycle from Costco 15 years ago. Still ride it to this day and see no point in getting anything better. My neighbor? He has a $10,000 racing bike he rides around the neighborhood. Happy for him. Not my thing.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Constellation Audio, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones & Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MIT Cables, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Roon Labs, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  8. Thanks audio.bill thanked for this post
  9. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,134
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    I agree. Our preconceived notions that something is more desirable and better because it is more expensive, up to and including hearing differences in a more expensive cable may very well be the explanation. The blindfold tests seem to confirm that fact, even when it comes to Stradivarius violins and professional ears. If one "expects" to hear a difference, it will be heard. When one does not involve the other senses and has no bias since it is not a purchase but an objective "blind" test, things become much more complex. But the main point is probably this, whether that cable made a difference or not, if one believes it did, it is all that matters to that individual. Illusion becomes indistinguishable from reality.

    I have bought cables and cords expecting to hear a difference and did not. I have also bought cables not expecting to hear a difference and was pleasantly surprised to hear a difference. Expectation bias does not work for every one.

    I know what I hear and I know what I don't. Cables can and do sound different but not in all instances. Amps, preamps and DAC's more so.

    I trust my ears and brain.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  10. Likes Mike, jdandy liked this post
  11. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL 'The Hammock'
    Posts
    3,804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechnutt View Post
    I have bought cables and cords expecting to hear a difference and did not. I have also bought cables not expecting to hear a difference and was pleasantly surprised to hear a difference. Expectation bias does not work for every one.

    I know what I hear and I know what I don't. Cables can and do sound different but not in all instances. Amps, preamps and DAC's more so.

    I trust my ears and brain.
    I trust my ears and brain
    bingo
    Chris

    (2 Chl): Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE Lumin D1, VPI Classic 1, Manley Chinook, Dynavector DV20x2L.exaSound e32 mk11, Marantz SA11S2. ( computer) Win7, Synology DS413 NAS ,Vincent SP-331MKII , Quicksilver LS,Vapor Audio Breeze, Rythmik F12se. Cables: Acoustic Zen, DL Labs, Blue Jean.. ,Bryston BCD-1,Timbernation Rack,

  12. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    276
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    yes, a human being is not a robot. and hearing is complex. my hearing is pretty good, but for some things i have no explanation.

    f.e:

    yesterday you listened to your hifi system and were happy, it souned great and you could listen for hours. there was a connection between the music and your brain and senses etc. wow.

    some days later you listen to exactly the same system and music and the sound is completly different. no connection. in fact it sucks. better switch of the power.

    why?

    "bad hifi day"? i had the same mood, no stress and was not more tired than some days before.

    what has changed? my brains, my nerves, electric power - a change of the magnetic fields in the room? no idea.
    hifi:
    power: Audioplan Powerstar, Audioplan Finefilter, Audioplan Powerplant, Powercord
    cd: Creek Destiny
    tube amp: Jadis DA 50 Signature RC
    speaker: Living Voice Avatar 2
    turntable: Pro-Ject Xtension 10 + Ortofon Quintet Black MC
    phono stage: Remton 383 MKII
    cables: Van den Hul MC gold hybrid/Audioplan Musicable bic 7a, Profigold, Wilbrand

    home-cinema: Sony blu-ray, Yamaha rx v2700, Heco Metas 700 (4x), Heco center

  13. Likes Mechnutt, CPP liked this post
  14. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    216
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Audiohpile Ear

    Quote Originally Posted by tube-vds View Post
    yes, a human being is not a robot. and hearing is complex. my hearing is pretty good, but for some things i have no explanation.

    f.e:

    yesterday you listened to your hifi system and were happy, it souned great and you could listen for hours. there was a connection between the music and your brain and senses etc. wow.

    some days later you listen to exactly the same system and music and the sound is completly different. no connection. in fact it sucks. better switch of the power.

    why?

    "bad hifi day"? i had the same mood, no stress and was not more tired than some days before.

    what has changed? my brains, my nerves, electric power - a change of the magnetic fields in the room? no idea.
    We have precision instruments that go on supplying us with "reliable data" day after day, no matter what, or we'd never have achieved anything with precision and certainly would not have reached mars or the moon. The "same" electronic components seem to do just fine for intercontinental missiles, lasers, scanning electron microscopes, particle accelerators, precision medical devices, etc...All are consistent except when implemented in AUDIO, hence "bad hi-fi days". Magnetic fields, bad power, humidity, etc... Surely not all precision instruments rely on $10k power conditioners and surely such trivial things as a slight humidity change in a climate controlled environment should matter as far as electronics go! The slight change in sound wave propagation in relative humidity is very unlikely to cause any difference. It is a very slight change and irrelevant to the typical listening distances of an audio room.

    Of course the examples of the trained and professional ears not being able to recognize a legendary instrument in a blind test and the fact that the article posted above clearly states that in the example of the wine tasting, elsewhere in the brain, the price of the wine changed and "overruled" the taste buds creating an illusion of a "different" and "better" wine when in fact it was the same....

    None of that leads the audiophile to be suspicious of his own ears.... Not even the fact that human hearing fluctuates on a daily basis, some audiophiles have naturally "age related" hearing loss that is some -30 to -40 dB down and exhibits severe notch filtering at the same time. Nope, it can't be the ears!

    So what I propose is to explore the possibility of the moon phases being responsible for "bad hifi days" Hey, anything is possible when it comes to "mystical audio".
    Serge

  15. Likes tube-vds liked this post
 

 
Page 1 of 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... LastLast