Objectivity vs Subjectivity

Passive_audio_enthusiast

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Due to audioscsiencereview’s bad reviews on Hegel, naim, regas and so on the resale value on these stuff has taken a huge hit. And day by day more and more people are switching camps/getting educated about what to look for in audio. So, consider getting something which is decent in measurements and sounds good to your ears at the same time to avoid disappointment in few years. Colored sound would give an immediate satisfaction but once you start noticing that amps filter in everything you hear you would want something different. A transparent amp on the other hand would be boring at first, but once you start noticing the differences in different recording styles of different artists without filtering by the amp, you would be forgetting more About the gear. Over the years, I have used lot of hifi targeted amps like atoll, gold note, holfi, creek and several niche brands. Every time when you hear it for the first weeks you will be flattered, then the excitement dies as that particular coloring is intrusive to the music all the time. It used to be easy to flip them when you don’t like it but now if you put any of them on sale,anyone who looks for a used amp who knows how to “google search” would land in the audiosciencereview’s page would be reluctant to buy them regardless of their positive reviews. Nobody wants a product which is bashed by 100s of random guys on internet.

They say end of the day, trust your ears but I would say, trust your ears only after you do your homework. Otherwise the moment you discover some of the flaws, then there is no way back.
 

raghupb

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<snip>
Audiophile and subjectivists listen to their gadgets, money and ego.

Objectivist listens to transparent audio reproduction.
<snip>
The listening happens on my objectively debatable, subjectively likeable gadgets that I have spent money on to satisfy my ego.
There I ended the debate for you ;)

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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Passive_audio_enthusiast

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Alright folks, time to close this debate.

Audiophile and subjectivists listen to their gadgets, money and ego.

Objectivist listens to transparent audio reproduction.

Debate over.
Like or dont like it.
Take your own time to come out of the rabbit hole.

It's better not to waste time......let's share our favourite songs instead.
Isn’t that bad.
Where did you look for it’s measurements ? I did a google search and it didn’t lead anywhere meaningful. There is one from sound and vision but they have only at certain frequencies. My assumption is denon had the same amp section for 3 series generations that they all should sound the same. Even between 3700 and 3600 there is only 1 db difference in SNR, and that both are already in the Region where you cannot distinguish between this change. I assume at least most 3 series measures the same. I can be wrong though.
 
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Hari Iyer

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I have said this many many times and saying again - IMO for our own ears it's difficult to buy a good sounding product, it can only be made for yourself by yourself
 
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firearm12

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Alright folks, time to close this debate.

Audiophile and subjectivists listen to their gadgets, money and ego.

Objectivist listens to transparent audio reproduction.

Debate over.
Like or dont like it.
Take your own time to come out of the rabbit hole.

It's better not to waste time......let's share our favourite songs instead.

To each its own.

Subjectivists listen to music. They believe and rely on their ears.

Objectivists don't listen to anything. They believe and rely on machines and are incapable to decide which hardware sounds better without help of some machines.

It's so simple. End of story.
 
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Hari Iyer

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True. But it will appeal only to the developer most of the times.- edit: I think I m wrong here.
In my home only I listen to music critically, for others it really doesn't matter how they sound subjectively. For them everything sounds the same and they don't care or even bother. Sometimes they feel i am all nuts and need help :)-. Also 99.999999% times you are the only critical listener. An occasional FM can drop in 0.000001% of your listening session time. So are you going to satisfy yourself or the FM? Wondering.
 
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ssf

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I listen to music. When you are doing a critical listen, well, the word speaks for itself, you are listening to the equipment, room, measurements, recording and a whole lot more. Nothing wrong with it, although, I sometimes feel that you are missing the wood for the trees. To each his own. I will stick to listening to music.
 
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Decadent_Spectre

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Subjectivists listen to music. They believe and rely on their ears.

Objectivists don't listen to anything. They believe and rely on machines and are incapable to decide which hardware sounds better without help of some machines.

It's so simple. End of story.

I agree with this.

In my observations it has been seen that objectivists have strong objective bias. If they buy equipment based on their beliefs then if it doesn't sound good to them they usually either convince themselves it sounds good or that their preference is "wrong" and they should correct it to align with objective data.

I've rarely seen them enjoying music, only going over measurements, taking measurements, repeating this cycle infinitely.
 
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coaltrain

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Alright folks, time to close this debate.

Audiophile and subjectivists listen to their gadgets, money and ego.

Objectivist listens to transparent audio reproduction.

Debate over.
Like or dont like it.
Take your own time to come out of the rabbit hole.
Oh no, please do go on!
There’s nothing I enjoy more than being categorized, compartmentalized and marginalized by some random keyboard warrior on the interwebs, who has not the foggiest notion of who I am :)
 
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insane79

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Alright folks, time to close this debate.

Audiophile and subjectivists listen to their gadgets, money and ego.

Objectivist listens to transparent audio reproduction.

Debate over.
Like or dont like it.
Take your own time to come out of the rabbit hole.

It's better not to waste time......let's share our favourite songs instead.

To each its own.
lol, that is hilarious,

NVM.
 
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Analogous

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I realised I only check objective measurements of components when I am considering a purchase.
I also check user and professional reviewers subjective feedback more extensively as there is a lot more of these.

But once I have bought it I never looked at the measurements again. I do sometimes recheck subjective opinions to verify I understood these to compare with what I am hearing. I don’t have the means or knowledge to test/measure even if I wanted to.

The polarised positions of the two groups is not helping me much. Sometimes it is confounding.
An example I saw was with Schiit Yggdrasil DAC which has a huge fan following and a waitlist of months (due to chop shortages)

Amir of ASR (whose knowledge and integrity I respect) measured and found this:

So, confounding or what?

Hope the discussion can focus on why there is such a big difference between measured performance and subjective opinions, rather than which is better or more important.

This could be useful for everyone?
 
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[email protected]

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I realised I only check objective measurements of components when I am considering a purchase.
I also check user and professional reviewers subjective feedback more extensively as there is a lot more of these.

But once I have bought it I never looked at the measurements again. I do sometimes recheck subjective opinions to verify I understood these to compare with what I am hearing. I don’t have the means or knowledge to test/measure even if I wanted to.

The polarised positions of the two groups is not helping me much. Sometimes it is confounding.
An example I saw was with Schiit Yggdrasil DAC which has a huge fan following and a waitlist of months (due to chop shortages)

Amir of ASR (whose knowledge and integrity I respect) measured and found this:

So, confounding or what?

Hope the discussion can focus on why there is such a big difference between measured performance and subjective opinions, rather than which is better or more important.

This could be useful for everyone?
I’ve no interest in high end DACs as I listen mostly to analog & CDs on dedicated CD players. However I do have a Schiit entry level DAC bought few years back , which from the beginning had an unsatisfactory sound over USB connected to laptop using a good USB cable. Over Coaxial and Optical inputs the sound was much better. Over USB the sound was dry , brittle , unpleasant.
More than 2 years later I came across the ASR review of this DAC which corroborated my (subjective) experience with some measurements saying that basically the USB interface on this DAC is very noisy. So there you go.
 
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Analogous

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I’ve no interest in high end DACs as I listen mostly to analog & CDs on dedicated CD players. However I do have a Schiit entry level DAC bought few years back , which from the beginning had an unsatisfactory sound over USB connected to laptop using a good USB cable. Over Coaxial and digital the sound was much better. Over USB the sound was dry , brittle , unpleasant.
More than 2 years later I came across the ASR review of this DAC which corroborated my (subjective) experience with some measurements saying that basically the USB interface on this DAC is very noisy. So there you go.
Thanks for sharing this. Yes, sometimes measured performance aligns with subjective experience and opinions.
What confounds is when they are divergent (measures well- sounds bad or sounds great- measures bad)

I am also wondering how much reading about measurements before listening creates a bias in our minds and vice versa. Obviously this was not the case in your experience with the Schiit DAC.

Very high price, skilled marketing and top notch industrial design often combine to create some strong opinions and beliefs that continue to be propagated.

This however does not explain why some vintage gear that measure poorly still sound good after all the hype has disappeared over the years (Quad 405 (50 years old?), some older JBLs and Marantz models)
 
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Analogous

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Another example is the Measurements of the Croft integrated amplifier by John Atkinson of Stereophile. In his measurements this amplifier performed poorly (he used phrases such as 'incompetent', and reports a 6db roll-off within the audible frequency range on phono, and persistent distortion).

But three (yes, three) of his experienced staff reviewers (Art Dudley, Stephen Meijas and Sam Tellig) all had unanimously very good opinions about this amp sounded to them. Definitely confounding.

 
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[email protected]

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Another example is the Measurements of the Croft integrated amplifier by John Atkinson of Stereophile. In his measurements this amplifier performed poorly (he used phrases such as 'incompetent', and reports a 6db roll-off within the audible frequency range on phono, and persistent distortion).

But three (yes, three) of his experienced staff reviewers (Art Dudley, Stephen Meijas and Sam Tellig) all had unanimously very good opinions about this amp sounded to them. Definitely confounding.

You bought this blind recently no ? Based on other FMs feedback and not evidently on the poor measurements in Stereophile which are countered as well.
So , would you still have bought it if it measured poorly across many sites but vouched for by FMs whose opinions you value ?
 
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Enkay78

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Bias

It's difficult to have an unbiased subjective assessment. Also there is something called as conformity bias.

So to base everything subjectively cannnot be prudent parameter. I mean we all know how our mood can effect our music to sound to us.


In the above example, how can it be assured that Art Dudley, Stephen Meijas and Sam Tellig heard same musicality? How can John Atkins measurements be disprove of poor musicality?


What have audioresearch shown over years?

Have we ever ask how the golden ears audiophiles are mostly 50+ old men when they are probably suffering age related hearing loss? How can their subjective assessments be a better parameter from a 18 year old listener whose auditory spectrum can reach upto 20kz?

When someone claim that ultrasonic waves spectrum contribute to sonic quality, how do you assess the truth of his statement, when humans can hear only 20hz to 20kz at their peak of listening power around youngish age of 20years?
 
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