radiant red

Measurements, Compatibility and Ears ūüĎā

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They look pretty much identical on my computer but completely different on my phone. Mind you my laptop has a haze of filth on the screen, probably less than most paintings in galleries though.

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Super Wammer

I used a measuring jug today and thought of this thread ūüí≠ūüėā

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Measurements are just humanity’s best effort of quantifying qualities of nature - they are not perfect and our ability to measure will continue to improve.

When I see these debates about listening vs measuring I think of the measurements that quantify human beauty.  The ratios of nose width to lip width, nose length to face length etc that are said to transcend fashion, race and age to give us a metric for the beautiful face - just as all the parameters of hifi measurement give us a metric for the perfect speaker, amp etc. 

If you found someone who matched these human beauty ratios exactly, many people wouldn’t find them attractive.  Some would find their perfection a turn off, otherworldly, inhuman.  Beautiful yes, but not sexy.

I think measurements can give you perfection, but perfection isn’t always sexy.  That’s why I like vinyl and have valves in my system.

And if that¬†means I have an ‚Äėeffects box‚Äô not hi fi, so¬†be it.¬†

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30 minutes ago, jas0_0 said:

......

And if that¬†means I have an ‚Äėeffects box‚Äô not hi fi, so¬†be it.¬†

Glad I’m not the only one with an effects box! Perhaps we could form a club for owners of hifi that is enjoyable to listen to. :D

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7 minutes ago, Camverton said:

Glad I‚Äôm not the only one with an effects box! Perhaps we could formÔĽŅÔĽŅÔĽŅ a club for owners of hifi that is enjoyable to listen to.¬†:DÔĽŅ

Just bought www.effectsboxwigwam.com, see you there?

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1 hour ago, jas0_0 said:

Measurements are just humanity’s best effort of quantifying qualities of nature - they are not perfect and our ability to measure will continue to improve.

When I see these debates about listening vs measuring I think of the measurements that quantify human beauty.  The ratios of nose width to lip width, nose length to face length etc that are said to transcend fashion, race and age to give us a metric for the beautiful face - just as all the parameters of hifi measurement give us a metric for the perfect speaker, amp etc. 

If you found someone who matched these human beauty ratios exactly, many people wouldn’t find them attractive.  Some would find their perfection a turn off, otherworldly, inhuman.  Beautiful yes, but not sexy.

I think measurements can give you perfection, but perfection isn’t always sexy.  That’s why I like vinyl and have valves in my system.

And if that¬†means I have an ‚Äėeffects box‚Äô not hi fi, so¬†be it.¬†

There is though a distinction to be made between the qualities of the original performance (complete with artistic imperfections) and the recreation of this by a HiFi... 

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48 minutes ago, MartinC said:

There is though a distinction to be made between the qualities of the original performance (complete with artistic imperfections) and the recreation of this by a HiFi... 

Yes there is.

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8 hours ago, jas0_0 said:

Yes there is.

I agree with @MartinC

Audio is the domestic reproduction of recorded music.

The recording is like a sonic image. You can make an accurate reproduction of the image or you can adjust/manipulate to taste.

Which one will provide a more satisfying listening experience depends on the listener but in my opinion and experience most (if not all) forms of distortion will have a negative impact on (sonic) realism. And since I listen mostly to acoustic music realism is paramount.

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@tuga I agree entirely.  I think we just have a different approach to hi fi, both of which are entirely valid.  You take enjoyment from knowing that what you are hearing is as close to the sound that was recorded as possible, and if that means that sound has warts, then so be it. 

I would prefer a system that makes the vast majority of my music sound good to me, smoothing some of the bad effects of bad recordings if possible to make favourite tracks recorded in poor circumstances enjoyable.  And if that means I miss out on the last ounce of detail, or the sound is ever so slightly coloured, then so be it - after all it will only be coloured in a pleasant way!

I think my system is pretty high resolving and neutral.  I’ve had an analytical system in the past and I really didn’t enjoy how it took the music apart.  I’ve also had amplification that smoothed the sound too much, and sold that too. 

In the last 3 years I have gone through amps from 7 different manufacturers, and have finally settled on a pre/power combo from Croft - a manufacturer whose amps, if you read Stereophile, measure abysmally.  To me it sounds fantastic.

This is why I don’t believe in relying on measurements.  But I respect those who take comfort in the knowledge that their kit measures well (so long as they respect my preference for just using my ears).

There’s room for all tastes and approaches to hi fi, and if it was a case of one size fits all, it would be a much less interesting pursuit.

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Super Dealer

Absolutely spot on, of course you could have saved yourself some time if you had looked at the measurements of those seven amps .

Keith

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4 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

Absolutely spot on, of course you could have saved yourself some time if you had looked at the measurements of those seven amps .

Keith

No I wouldn’t!  If I’d gone on measurements I’d never have bought Croft and I’d still be looking...

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Super Dealer

https://www.stereophile.com/content/croft-acoustics-phono-integrated-integrated-amplifier-measurements

Perhaps you are right, I wouldn’t have bought this either.

Keith

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1 hour ago, jas0_0 said:

You take enjoyment from knowing that what you are hearing is as close to the sound that was recorded as possible, and if that means that sound has warts, then so be it.

I don't take enjoyment from "knowing that what you are hearing is as close to the sound that was recorded as possible", I take enjoyment from the sound coming out of my system (how instruments / vocals / music sounds), which happens to be "as close to the sound that was recorded as possible" within my ability to determine its accuracy and pick the right parts, for a given budget and respecting the domestic restrictions of the listening room.

These three factors are determinant to the final result.

.

P.S. the reason why I use measurements is because they help me select equipment which will potentially be capable of higher fidelity and consequently of sounding better.

Edited by tuga
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1 hour ago, jas0_0 said:

I would prefer a system that makes the vast majority of my music sound good to me, smoothing¬†some of the bad effects of bad recordings if possible to make favourite tracks recorded in poor circumstances enjoyable. ¬†And if thatÔĽŅ ÔĽŅmeans I miss out on the last ounce of detail, or the sound is ever so slightly ÔĽŅcolouÔĽŅrÔĽŅed, then so be it - after all it will only be coloured in a pleasant way!

Which sounds totally reasonable to me BTW. Dealing with recording limitations is very much the counter-argument to true transparency, and how this balance plays out in practice will in part depend on the type of music most listened to. For myself I know I'd have an easier time if I had less varied musical tastes.

My point above was that your analogy was flawed rather than that you were 'wrong' in choosing to prefer added distortion. Discussing HiFi transparency is more like discussing the accuracy of the printing of a photo of the person you discussed rather than attributes of the real face. With the real face being analogous to the original musical performance.

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Oh, and like @tuga, I don't get specific pleasure from knowing a sound is accurately reproduced but rather from the sound itself. The question is to what extent accuracy is what sounds best to the individual. 

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