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PuritéAudio

Science and Subjectivism by Douglas Self

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Super Wammer

Having read the article it does not have any intention to imply that any improvement in the enjoyment of music is in your head . Rather I think the writer is trying to find a scientific reason as to why so many people like SET amps despite the measurement issues.

His contention seems to be that the largest source of distortion we hear is the Mechanical Driver in a Loudspeaker and that an SET in certain circumstances could well keep this the same or even reduce that distortion .

He seems to think that his could a real reason why listeners hear SET amps and find the more musical than other types , it is not delusion or kidding yourself over the look but a possible reduction of the distortion arriving at your ear.

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Ah, apologies, I mis-read - can't seem to get back to the page now...

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36 minutes ago, bencat said:

He seems to think that his could a real reason why listeners hear SET amps and find the more musical than other types , it is not delusion or kidding yourself over the look but a possible reduction of the distortion arriving at your ear.

Not seems to think, but actual tests with actual measurements.  Which is (or should be) how the scientific method should be used.

But, yes, not kidding yourself over the looks, etc.

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Super Wammer
7 minutes ago, awkwardbydesign said:

Not seems to think, but actual tests with actual measurements.  Which is (or should be) how the scientific method should be used.

But, yes, not kidding yourself over the looks, etc.

However even he admits that the tests are not perfect and have other variables which are not considered (different frequencies / pahse changes etc) so I stick with my assertion seems to think it is the case but not fully proved.

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1 hour ago, bencat said:

However even he admits that the tests are not perfect and have other variables which are not considered (different frequencies / pahse changes etc) so I stick with my assertion seems to think it is the case but not fully proved.

OK.

But now the door is open for others to repeat his experiments to see if the findings are consistent.  Which would be good science. 

Edited by awkwardbydesign

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Moderator

It's an interesting article, but as is often the case with pure objectivism, it ignores the possibility that things might not always be set in stone. With a quick read through, I can see a couple of points where it is 'this cannot happen', but proven fact now says it can.

For example, the statement about capacitors. I will dig it out from my pile somewhere, but some experiments were carried out a few years ago at Salford's audio research facility that showed measurable distortion in capacitors caused by vibration at specific frequencies. This was a properly peer-reviewed and published study.

Unfortunately, like more than a few objectivists, the work detracts from its purpose by including more than a few 'must be' and 'cannot be otherwise' sort of statements. Precious little is more amusing than an objectivist relying on subjective statements to make a claim.

FWIW, most people know I prefer the objective approach, but I remain open minded. We most certainly do not have all the answers and the whole basis of proper science of to acknowledge that what is 'fact' today may be proven wrong tomorrow.

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Got to read the article again.

It's an interesting idea - distortion in one direction in one part of the system cancelling out distortion in the opposite direction in another part of the system.

Kind of like some sort of analogue computer maybe!

It's a bit of a risk/shot in the dark though, unless you have got some clue about the harmonic distortion the components are producing, or hope for the best based on statistics.

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58 minutes ago, v1nn1e said:

Got to read the article again.

It's an interesting idea - distortion in one direction in one part of the system cancelling out distortion in the opposite direction in another part of the system.

Kind of like some sort of analogue computer maybe!

It's a bit of a risk/shot in the dark though, unless you have got some clue about the harmonic distortion the components are producing, or hope for the best based on statistics.

That's what ears are for!

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So, have you ever swapped the polarity of the speaker cables during a listening test and heard an audible reduction in distortion? 🤔 :)

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14 minutes ago, v1nn1e said:

So, have you ever swapped the polarity of the speaker cables during a listening test and heard an audible reduction in distortion? 🤔 :)

Not an "official" test.  But, over 30 years ago, something sounded wrong after I had reconnected my speakers.  After much checking, I realised I had reversed the speakers' polarity.  When I re-reversed them, normal service was resumed.   I make no assertions as to whether this is audible on complex programme material.  In my case it was kick drum, the classic test, and totally accidental.  What it has done is stop me being dogmatic about the inaudibility of  phase, or polarity.  The speakers were sealed box, which would have helped.

Edit:  I have just realised that would have been about 5 years before Douglas Self published that article.  IIRC, at the time the whole idea was regularly derided.

Edited by awkwardbydesign

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