Bodgit

PS Audio anyone?

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10 minutes ago, Bodgit said:

I'm rather more interested in personal experiences than in quantified measurement of the stuff.

Only your personal experience matters. You are the arbiter of what sounds good to you.

What somebody else describes/reviews may not be your perception when you finally get to hear such a unit at home.

If you can learn to correlate measurements to your sound perception, it'll go further in to informing you how something sounds than somebody with a complete different system, different taste in music, and sound reproduction presentation, different perspective of what sounds 'right' and happened to try the unit you're interested in.

With that in mind, what do you expect to gain from subjective opinions of strangers? 

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30 minutes ago, Metatron said:

What I find amusing was how they show it has mediocre resolution, poor linearity, added second and third harmonic and yet they still conclude "the best musicality of which DSD is capable".

For many people, adding harmonic (and intermodulation) distortion increases "musicality".

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, tuga said:

For many people, adding harmonic (and intermodulation) distortion increases "musicality".

I know this too well. I quite like a sizable dose of second harmonic (which acoustic instruments produce also), that's probably why I prefer my Pass amp to many others. Add additional harmonics and I'm throwing up!

I think the point is: I've correlated some measurable aspect to things I subjectively like, so I can make an informed decision about how something likely sounds from looking at measured performance graphs.

I think before that, finding something to audition was just reading reviews and forums and trying to listen to anything people raved about hoping to luck out.

Which reminds me...

1 hour ago, mentt said:

As my friend often says “measurements are for deaf people or for people without own opinion”

I'll take the bait on your inflammatory comment seeking to cast the aspersion that all objectivists are deaf (which true to a subjectivist stance has no evidence)...

Well as I have said above, I use measurements where I was previously just subjective and yet I still have my own opinion. A person who doesn't understand how to correlate measurement with their own subjective 'taste' in hifi is either too lazy, too apathetic to bother, or not smart enough to grasp the data. As such he/she can only fall back on trying everything under the sun hoping to get lucky at finding something 'better' without ever understanding why something seems 'better' to them. They will ultimately get lucky, but it involves listening to so much kit that there always seems to be something 'better' available, which could actually just be different sounding.

The assumption that subjectivists make when considering a foray into objectivity is that a very distortion-free unit should sound better, but this betrays the complexity of human perception where many of us actually like some types of distortion to be present in the genres of music we listen to, for various reasons, such as:

  • we may have grown up listening to vinyl and certain characteristics in the vinyl sound are entrenched in us as 'right'
  • we may have grown up listening to particular genres of music on older more distorted kit in the 70s or earlier, where the midrange had the most fidelity, but bass was lacking and top end rolled-off early, such that we developed a preference for equipment that has a forward midrange
  • and there are many other reasons we can grow older liking a particular type of sonic presentation that is NOT consistent with better distortion figures
  • it is also true that some forms of distortion (non-linear distortions) are universally disliked, but even among those there are subtypes that people can be more sensitive to than others, so two units with matching distortion figures may actually consist of different types of distortion and consequently sound different.

 As such, a poorer measuring unit can sound subjectively better to a person, but it's important to know why. If you can figure out why, you can use measurements to find kit which works for you. If you cannot be bothered, then it's endless auditioning and tracking dealers of brands down who can put a system together similar to your own for a demo.

One system uses education to track down the desired sound, the other is a lottery.

Did you know they say the lottery is a tax on the stupid?

Edited by Metatron
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Bought a second hand PS Audio GCPH Phono stage after reading a review that rated it highly. Found it quite ordinary and sold it after a short while. 

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1 hour ago, Metatron said:

With that in mind, what do you expect to gain from subjective opinions of strangers? 

The kind of feedback provided by @Metatron and @Stidge, thank you both.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Metatron said:

I know this too well. I quite like a sizable dose of second harmonic (which acoustic instruments produce also), that's probably why I prefer my Pass amp to many others. Add additional harmonics and I'm throwing up!

I think the point is: I've correlated some measurable aspect to things I subjectively like, so I can make an informed decision about how something likely sounds from looking at measured performance graphs.

I think before that, finding something to audition was just reading reviews and forums and trying to listen to anything people raved about hoping to luck out.

Which reminds me...

I'll take the bait on your inflammatory comment seeking to cast the aspersion that all objectivists are deaf (which true to a subjectivist stance has no evidence)...

Well as I have said above, I use measurements where I was previously just subjective and yet I still have my own opinion. A person who doesn't understand how to correlate measurement with their own subjective 'taste' in hifi is either too lazy, too apathetic to bother, or not smart enough to grasp the data. As such he/she can only fall back on trying everything under the sun hoping to get lucky at finding something 'better' without ever understanding why something seems 'better' to them. They will ultimately get lucky, but it involves listening to so much kit that there always seems to be something 'better' available, which could actually just be different sounding.

The assumption that subjectivists make when considering a foray into objectivity is that a very distortion-free unit should sound better, but this betrays the complexity of human perception where many of us actually like some types of distortion to be present in the genres of music we listen to, for various reasons, such as:

  • we may have grown up listening to vinyl and certain characteristics in the vinyl sound are entrenched in us as 'right'
  • we may have grown up listening to particular genres of music on older more distorted kit in the 70s or earlier, where the midrange had the most fidelity, but bass was lacking and top end rolled-off early, such that we developed a preference for equipment that has a forward midrange
  • and there are many other reasons we can grow older liking a particular type of sonic presentation that is NOT consistent with better distortion figures
  • it is also true that some forms of distortion (non-linear distortions) are universally disliked, but even among those there are subtypes that people can be more sensitive to than others, so two units with matching distortion figures may actually consist of different types of distortion and consequently sound different.

 As such, a poorer measuring unit can sound subjectively better to a person, but it's important to know why. If you can figure out why, you can use measurements to find kit which works for you. If you cannot be bothered, then it's endless auditioning and tracking dealers of brands down who can put a system together similar to your own for a demo.

One system uses education to track down the desired sound, the other is a lottery.

Did you know they say the lottery is a tax on the stupid?

I own and like many components and speakers with different sound signatures and different measurements. Personally I think it is stupid to buy new expensive gear that sound similar to one that You already own. When I am seeking new gear I audition as many units as possible. You never know when You “by mistake” find gear that you love , but on paper you wouldn’t consider(for example because of different/bad measurements :-) ) That is why I won’t bother with measurements. But that’s me 

Edited by mentt
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5 minutes ago, mentt said:

I own and like many components and speakers with different sound signatures and different measurements. Personally I think it is stupid to by new expensive gear that sound similar to one that You already own. When I am seeking new gear I audition as many units as possible. You never know when You “by mistake” find gear that you love , but on paper you wouldn’t consider(for example because of different/bad measurements :-) ) That is why I won’t bother with measurements. But that’s me 

I don't replace any equipment until I have identified it's shortcomings.

I use measurements to help me track down possible causes for those shortcomings I have spotted and also to reduce my worth-listening-to shortlist to items.

Measurements and listening are complementary. But I listen objectively in an observationist manner, I don't taste. I want my equipment to be transparent so that the recordings I listen to (mostly classical music) sound as natural as possible.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, mentt said:

I own and like many components and speakers with different sound signatures and different measurements. Personally I think it is stupid to by new expensive gear that sound similar to one that You already own. When I am seeking new gear I audition as many units as possible. You never know when You “by mistake” find gear that you love , but on paper you wouldn’t consider(for example because of different/bad measurements :-) ) That is why I won’t bother with measurements. But that’s me 

That's a refreshingly different take on it and not one I expect to see. I mean that sincerely not sarcastically - hence liking your post!

I offer a subtly counter view by just saying that if one determines they like some second harmonic distortion (which for me and amps is true), the next question becomes how much is too much, and how much is too little. So it is still possible to find things not entirely in keeping with the current overall sound signature. The point is not to take yourself so far away that you pine for what one once owned. I've certainly done that before I used measurements.

Separately, whenever something measures ultra well, I will try and listen to it. Not because it is to my taste, but because I need to hear a reference point for so-called 'transparency'. If I find that the new unit doesn't mean that oft declared sterile/lean sound that many complain about in 'transparent' units, then I try to discover why I like it. Usually I find I do not like them though. Occasionally I find my tastes subtly but measurably shift over time anyway, so re-evaluating oneself is important.

Edited by Metatron

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Metatron said:

A person who doesn't understand how to correlate measurement with their own subjective 'taste' in hifi is either too lazy, too apathetic to bother, or not smart enough to grasp the data.

Normally, you have a refreshing and rather erudite take on aspects of this forum.  After reading this I am wondering if you are  having a bad day. At best this was not helpful, and at worst, arrogant and condescending.

Edited by ChemMan
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1 minute ago, ChemMan said:

Normally, you have a refreshing and rather erudite take on aspects of this forum.  After reading this I am wondering if you are  having a bad day. At best this was not helpful, and at worst, arrogant.

In isolation I'd have to concede that. Probably the result of a rough ride elsewhere in the forum of late, by people who will believe all manner of foo and ignore all evidence that exists that doesn't support their world view.

Thanks' for trying to keep me on an even keel.

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4 minutes ago, Metatron said:

Thanks' for trying to keep me on an even keel.

No worries man.  I've been known to be the same from time to time myself.  :)

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1 minute ago, ChemMan said:

No worries man.  I've been known to be the same from time to time myself.  :)

I've not noticed you doing it. And I am not being sarcastic there either. @mentt had quite a good response which I thought was a good engagement on the subject and a newer perspective to the often repeated 'trusting the ears' despite the existence of cognitive biases. So I liked his posting, which as far as I can tell is the same as repping, just expressed differently. He was good enough not to take it too much to heart (I think). His view had proper merit to it.

Recent stuff elsewhere here had me turn the other cheek and not vent how I wished to, which left allegations against my motivations and other personal aspects unanswered. I probably should simply have response in this thread more like the following (so apologies to mennt)...

Some people can perpetually box-swap, which for them is actually part of their enjoyment, while for me and others it might represent an oft drawn out and tiresome search for 'better' and instead finding 'different'. So it prolongs the search for audio nirvana due to a philosophy that says you cannot rule anything out because of how it measures. This means you may as well listen to absolutely everything you can get your hands on.

I know my take on objectivism is different to others, who only appear to chase numbers. I see it much more about understanding why I like something (quantifying objectively my subjective preferences). This has so far served me well and had me looking at all sorts of science papers that collectively do explain why a better measuring unit isn't always perceived as better. Before this, I did try the numbers only game, choosing what in theory are the units with better numbers. But as with many people who decided measurements don't mean anything, I also found that chasing the numbers didn't work for me. The difference is that instead of dismissing the science of measurement, as many seem to do when this occurs, I had to find the reason for what had transpired to resolve the schism of believing in science, but at the same time, also believing my like/dislike of a sonic presentation over much audition time.

I tried to understand what was wrong about the measurements and finally thought it wasn't the measurements, it more that I must be liking something that doesn't necessarily measure well. From then, I tried correlating measured aspects against my subjective view of a hifi units sound. It is there that I found that understanding how to quantify one's own subjective preference makes measurements more useful.

I wholly agree with people who say that measurements on their own tell you little (unless one is looking for objective transparency to the exclusion of personal preference). I personally feel that measurements need to be taken in the context of understanding one's own subjective preferences in sound presentation, which themselves can be quantified. Once these are quantified, it's easy to shortlist and make more headway without needing to listen to everything on the off-chance it may be the next purchased item.

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56 minutes ago, ChemMan said:

Normally, you have a refreshing and rather erudite take on aspects of this forum.  After reading this I am wondering if you are  having a bad day. At best this was not helpful, and at worst, arrogant and condescending.

I suspect the answer was a response to the comment 'As my friend often says “measurements are for deaf people or for people without own opinion” ', about which the least said the better.

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1 hour ago, Metatron said:

I've not noticed you doing it. And I am not being sarcastic there either.

I have let my frustrations and emotions get the better of me on the Wam and in life. I also did not mean to call you out if in fact that's what you feel I have done. Rabski's point is well taken. 

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You two make me laugh. You're both apologising for being among the most sensible, restrained and thoughtful people posting here :notworthy:

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