TheFlash

How to audition hifi properly

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It also cannot be avoided that a group of people influence one another. Hard to get away from that one, it's human nature. If 7 out of 10 are expressing a positive response, all 10 are likely to perceive more positively. Not an absolute statement mind you, there will be plenty of times where individuals are not influenced  by the group, but none the less many where they are.

Yes, very interesting comment above how many of us apply a negative bias to our own kit. I think a good remedy to this is to say to oneself: "What would I think if I had not a penny to spend on hifi, and someone had just given me this set up - how would I then hear it?". 

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Super Wammer
9 hours ago, tuga said:

The most rationalist of audiophile I have met is Serge, who claims that he buys all his gear on specs and measurements. But his objectivism is supported by knowledge, unlike Keith's which to my understanding is based on belief.

Bigging this up. And missing Serge.

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Super Wammer
4 hours ago, Jules_S said:

@tuga that makes very interesting reading, thanks for posting it. 

Subjective evaluation is required to assess the audibility and the impact on perceived sound quality. Some distortions which are audible might still be acceptable or even desirable in some applications.

^^^ This, absolutely. I think it recognises that a lack of distortion (or any other objective measurement for that matter) is not, in itself, a demonstration of a piece of equipment's superiority over any other, except viewed from a purely technical perspective.

In fact the more I think about this, I'd say that the objective viewpoint is of more interest and use to those who design, build and test equipment than those of us who don't. (plus of course there are always people who are generally interested in the technical side of things) I fully accept that measuring an item is of absolute importance when determining its performance vs the intended brief, ensuring safety, compatibility, and a whole host of other important things. But I don't see how those measurements could be taken as a sole arbiter of ability when viewed from the end consumer's perspective. Ultimately it comes down to the listening. I'm not saying that you're advocating a purely objective approach, in the same way I'm not advocating a purely subjective one, but I suspect we may lean in different directions when it comes to weighting of the two approaches.

How do you double-plus-like a post?

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@tuga & @Jules_S have touched upon distortion and at what levels it becomes audible. There is a YouTube video, possibly by Audio Precision (who make audio test equipment), where various levels and (IIRC) types of distortion are introduced to a system in front of a public audience. The audience are then asked to raise their hands when it becomes audible. 

It is quiet an interesting watch, although fairly long, and worth a watch. I just wish I could find it again so I can post a link!

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5 minutes ago, Blackmetalboon said:

@tuga & @Jules_S have touched upon distortion and at what levels it becomes audible. There is a YouTube video, possibly by Audio Precision (who make audio test equipment), where various levels and (IIRC) types of distortion are introduced to a system in front of a public audience. The audience are then asked to raise their hands when it becomes audible. 

It is quiet an interesting watch, although fairly long, and worth a watch. I just wish I could find it again so I can post a link!

Here it is:

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, Blackmetalboon said:

@tuga & @Jules_S have touched upon distortion and at what levels it becomes audible. There is a YouTube video, possibly by Audio Precision (who make audio test equipment), where various levels and (IIRC) types of distortion are introduced to a system in front of a public audience. The audience are then asked to raise their hands when it becomes audible. 

It is quiet an interesting watch, although fairly long, and worth a watch. I just wish I could find it again so I can post a link!

1 hour ago, tuga said:

Here it is:

Interesting. And what do you two gentlemen draw from this yourselves? I’ll give it a part of my life if you can hint at the conclusions either he or you draw. Thanks!

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18 minutes ago, TheFlash said:

Interesting. And what do you two gentlemen draw from this yourselves? I’ll give it a part of my life if you can hint at the conclusions either he or you draw. Thanks!

Been a while since I have watched it but it highlighted how certain low levels of distortion are objectionable while other, much higher levels, are reasonable benign.

It does tie in nicely with other recent threads where measurements have been introduced to the equation. It highlights that just  because distortion measurements are minuscule, we should not always discount them while also saying that just because distortion measurements are extremely high we can’t always hear them.

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Nice to see a mention of Serge who I much enjoyed meeting at the 2016 Wam Show. Yes, he did take quite an extremely objective view and he could get a bit frustrated but mostly he was polite in his answers. That was the point, he didn't just troll his views with statements, questions and links, but backed up his views with a wealth of knowledge which informed his views and answers, and was an invaluable resource for anyone with a technical question. Oh that some of his imitators could, let alone do the same thing.

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3 hours ago, Camverton said:

Nice to see a mention of Serge who I much enjoyed meeting at the 2016 Wam Show. Yes, he did take quite an extremely objective view and he could get a bit frustrated but mostly he was polite in his answers. That was the point, he didn't just troll his views with statements, questions and links, but backed up his views with a wealth of knowledge which informed his views and answers, and was an invaluable resource for anyone with a technical question. Oh that some of his imitators could, let alone do the same thing.

Serge was a well loved member, a star, let's leave it at that or we return to where we were last week.

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5 hours ago, Blackmetalboon said:

Been a while since I have watched it but it highlighted how certain low levels of distortion are objectionable while other, much higher levels, are reasonable benign.

It does tie in nicely with other recent threads where measurements have been introduced to the equation. It highlights that just  because distortion measurements are minuscule, we should not always discount them while also saying that just because distortion measurements are extremely high we can’t always hear them.

Very true. We seem to have reached a place where we can allow subjectivity and objectivity to cohabit, as long as both are explained and accepted.

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I enjoyed that video, reminded me of one of my books (wrote in the 60s) that says they measured up to 25% crossover distortion on many amplifiers at the time. 

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5 hours ago, oldius said:

Very true. We seem to have reached a place where we can allow subjectivity and objectivity to cohabit, as long as both are explained and accepted.

Agree.. but i bet within a week some one will be quoting low distortion as the key to a good sound...

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Just now, steve 57 said:

Agree.. but i bet within a week some one will be quoting low distortion as the key to a good sound...

Just one key, in one lock. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, TheFlash said:

Interesting. And what do you two gentlemen draw from this yourselves? I’ll give it a part of my life if you can hint at the conclusions either he or you draw. Thanks!

Some types of distortion are more nefarious (I always wanted to use this word) than others.

Trained listeners are a lot more sensitive/effective at identifying distortions.

This AP chap has bad taste in music...

Edited by tuga
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Super Wammer
On 26/05/2020 at 21:48, tuga said:

Here it is:

I like the bit where he says that "there are things that you can hear that there are no specs for".  Its the first time watching this video but not the first time that I have said that hifi people are not measuring all of the right things and specs alone are not reliable.

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