Top Ten Audio Lies

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by MarkStash, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. MarkStash

    MarkStash Stunt Coordinator

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    Link lifted from a thread in Audioholics.com

    I read most of these points debated herein. Would be curious to hear reaction/s and rebuttals. He refutes bi-wiring, cables, speaker burn-in advantages, etc. Interesting read.

    http://bruce.coppola.name/audio/TenAudioLies.pdf
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    This sort of discussion is not "Basics" material, which is why I'm moving it to A/V Sources.
     
  3. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    To which I'll add the following link...

    http://2eyespy.tripod.com/

    where one can read about audio myths from someone who obviously has some financial means.
     
  5. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    Thanks, Mark. That was a pretty good read. I'm just trying to figure out why a 4-page pdf is 11 MB!
     
  6. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    Good link Chu, although the poor guy seems to be subject to some of the same delusions the rest of us are anyway. He's using Nordost interconnect cables instead of Radio Shack cables. Also, why does he insist on having his amps on stands? Something wrong with the floor? [​IMG]

    I hadn't seen the Legacy speakers anywhere outside of magazine ads before. They look pretty good in a real setting.
     
  7. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    Gee. 11 mb? Sorry, I don't have time for that.

    I sure hate it when people use PDF files for no reason.
     
  8. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Couldn't open the link Mark provided.

    I think my Tice Clock is interfering with my Internet connection!

    Or is it my Shakti Stone? Perhaps I'll paint my router green...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Eyespy used to post (maybe still does) over in audioreview.com in the forums. He owns what he does not for the reason because it may sound better but as he's stated there on numerous occasions, because that's what he wants. In other words it's a matter of personal preference as opposed to sonic virtues.

    Yeah, that's one hell of a pdf. I don't think it needed that much resolution.
     
  10. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I must be new here.... how was painting things green supposed to make them sound better?
     
  11. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    It's True! It's because green is in the middle of the visible light spectrum, the photons are faster on average. Faster than red, but slower than blue.

    It's not easy being green.












    [rant]Sorry! I just couldn't wait until April 1st!!![/rant] [​IMG]
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And it gets tough coming up with more cynical, pseudoscientific nonsense to push on gullible people.



    No, Angelo. It's a karmic thing, I am certain. The Tice clock is supposed to bless only your audio system. Or your Internet connection may be interfering with the Tice Digital Clock's ability to massage and bless soundwaves in your listening room. Best to move the computer to another area of the house. Karma is everything.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    With myths, the evidence never materializes (pun intended). Despite decades of research to uncover some of these things we're told it's just around the corner or that it's beyond testing or that it's just not understood or that science isn't evolved enough to understand it. We all wait for the smoking gun. The explanations run the gamut.

    The difference is obvious.
    It takes very careful listening.
    Some people's hearing is better than others.
    It takes very resolving equipment and your equipment just doesn't cut the mustard.
    You've never heard my system, it's completely analog.

    In the end it comes down to an insult and an upturned nose that'd make a foreign waiter proud. If you've got an opposing view, you're just not with it.
     
  14. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Looking through the "Science and Subjectivism in Audio" link that Robert posted, there's one specific point in the 'Articles of Faith' section I don't agree with.


    I don't think that is correct. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things that you cannot test with a single sine wave:

    * Intermodulation distortion, which is the result of the interaction of multiple frequencies with each other.

    * Phase behavior - with a single test tone, you will get a fixed delay between input and output. You cannot test if this delay is constant with frequency unless you run a sine wave sweep, or use a different input signal.

    * Settling time - Assuming the amplifier isn't push-pull class A over its whole operating range, a large current demand will make the power supply sag. It'll take a finite amount of time for the supply voltage to get back to its steady state (which would be the idle bias point for the active devices in the amp). Some poorly designed power supplies will even oscillate a little while returning to the steady state. Sine waves at constant amplitude will not show this aspect of an amplifier's behavior.

    The whole concept that all an amplifier is doing is taking a single voltage at an instant in time and amplifying it (so all you need is adequate slew rate for the highest frequency at the highest power output) is overly simplistic, IMO. If that were reality, or even a close approximation of reality, harmonic and intermodulation distortion wouldn't exist.

    I believe a square wave represents a much better test of any electronic component. It consists of multiple frequencies at specific relative amplitudes and specific relative time/phase relationships. You'll get a much better idea of an amp's frequency and phase linearity by seeing how well it reproduces a square wave, instead of viewing its performance with a sine wave.

    Comments?
     
  15. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Jack, nothing's been quite right for me since I burned my Audiophiles Anonymous membership card and buried the decoder ring. Nothing but bad juju for me.

    But, at the very least, I gave up these habits:
    • I don't shine green, red or blue light on my CDs.
    • I sold the Bedini Ultra Clarifier.
    • No more square strips of paper on the speakers.
    • I got rid of the pyramids that were, strategically of course, deployed around the room.
    • Gone are the days of isolating speaker wire with porcelain.
    • Magic Brick? What Magic Brick?
    • I removed the chewing gum that was dampening the crystal in the CD player.
    • The ceiling is now devoid of any polycylindrical objects.
    • The Mbongo Dots are banished, as are the Elephants Feet.

    I need some sleep.
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You might be taking this, "Sinewaves are steady-state signals that represent too easy a test for amplifiers, compared with the complexities of music." out of context Saurav. I think the point was that music in and of itself does not constitute a more rigorous means of evaluation for an amplifier as opposed to test signals. That said, I don't think the single numbers that are given are in and of themselves particularly useful. Even in your example regarding slew rate and oscillation, most tests are done into a static load. I wouldn't mind seeing something like 3 speaker loads being simulated with circuits to provide an impedance varying frequency load for measurements to be made. Simulated in-situ testing if you will. It'd certainly give end users, once they knew how to interpret the results, a better idea of how suited an amp was to a particular set of speakers. Myself I find the whole phase error worries kind of funny because while we sit, debating its audibility and worried that it's constant across the frequency band (well it would be nice that they're at least the 'same' in both sound paths so you don't get artifacts), we totally neglect everything else that affected the phase. Like the instruments that were used, the microphones, the various amplifiers, the mixing that occurred, what you're playing the music back on, and the list goes on. Out of an amp, it takes a fair amount of phase shift to be audible.

    Although you've banished elephants feet, during a recent trip to the supermarket for yardbird I found that they're now selling chicken feet. You might find those a competent substitute.
     
  17. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    That's a good point, but good phase behavior is a good thing to have, just from a solid engineering standpoint. Also (though this is something a competent amp designer should have taken care of), depending on how many stages your amp has and where the global feedback loop goes to, too much of a phase shift can turn negative feedback into positive feedback, turning the amp into an oscillator. So it's not just about how much phase shift is directly audible.
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Yes it is and not tough to do. After all something as pedestrian as say Crown professional amps do 10 degrees. It really depends how much a person wants to agonize over this.
     
  19. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Now that, is very true [​IMG]
     
  20. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    You say that as though "sonic virtue" could mean anything other than the subjective value judgment of a human listener.

    FWIW, I also prefer Nordost cables to Rat Shack, but they sounded a bit too lean in my system. And there's no way I'm paying that much. [​IMG]

    Different products sound different, and companies put great effort into making theirs match the preferences of their target market. Nordost or Rat Shack? Copper or silver? SET and Lowthers or massive monoblocks and Legacies? What's your preference?

    I didn't open the list, but I wonder if this myth is on it: "All [insert audio product here] sound the same, regardless of price." Only someone who's never listened could believe such a thing.*

    *(And, certainly, you might prefer Rat Shack to Nordost in your system.)
     

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