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Where do you stand on accuracy vs euphonics wrt amplification

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spaace

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I can turn this around :)


You are given 2 options.

1. Choose gear and cables via exploration ( money no object)

If double blind test is the only validation criteria, experienced audiophiles or sound engineers should not prefer the results of option 1 consistently. But they almost always do.
Is that a fact, that sound engineering community belives that cables ( assume matching impedance etc) makes a big difference ?
 
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arj

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Now I wonder do we Indians ever done a double blind tests of any of the audiophile gears.....would be interesting.


A double blind tests of not only the experrienced listeners but also of any common consumers.

*Though I won't be surprised of there is none*
I frankly would not care about that as i perform very badly under test conditions :) prefer taking weeks evaluating differences
I have been talking to benchmark team themselves about abh2. I posed the same qn to them and here is their response ...

Qn.Are subjective qualities(soundstage depth and width, separation etc, which do not require polluting the base signal eg for warmth of tube) a direct result of a better measuring amp ?"

Annswer : Not so. The measurements are extremely important. If the measurements that we deem important are outstanding (as the AHB2’s are), these subjective qualities of soundstage depth, width, black background, etc. will be present. This would be transparent to the music file. Gear that doesn’t necessarily measure well can give a false sense of spaciousness that isn’t transparent to the original file. I hope that helps some.
Benchmark DACs have always measured great but sounded sterile and the very opposite of Euphonic
 

sidvee

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Benchmark DACs have always measured great but sounded sterile and the very opposite of Euphonic
I agree, I bought a benchmark dac1 in 2007 (mainly based on stereophile's glowing objective measurement review) but could never warm to it - pun intended. It was the most sterile/cold/lifeless digital component I had heard. Since then whatever is written about benchmark (or any other studio equipment manufacturer, including cables), I do not decide till I hear it (and probably the reason why most studio equipment manufacturers who make domestic equipment have 2 separate model lineups - like ATC domestic/professional).
And that's when I concluded that objective measurements and subjective opinions are not mutually exclusive - regardless of how scientific minded a person is, at-least in audio a subjective (preferably personal) opinion is required before buying any component.
Cheers,
Sid
 
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arj

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I had also gone to hear that with great expectations as even TAS had reviewed it well. they called in "Delicious" and it sounded quite the opposite to me.
Although there were folks who really loved it as well, so I guess it depends on the system and the ear listening to it.
 

jls001

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Usual suspects are 200 $ dacs, random electric wire etc.
There is (yet) another subjective element called "bragging rights";) so no self respecting audiophile will ever be caught using random wires.


If double blind test is the only validation criteria, experienced audiophiles or sound engineers should not prefer the results of option 1 consistently. But they almost always do.
People trained or experienced can perform much better in blind tests conducted to identify whether there are differences in A, B, and X. There is yet another subjective element in this - namely, human aural acuity varies wildly. In other words, some people are innately better than others at making out differences between two sounds. For example, many people cannot identify a phase reversal while for some others it stands out like a sore thumb.

Here's a great TEDTalk highly recommended for folks who believe and treat the world as purely mechanistic, ignoring the emotional and subjective aspects of human senses.
 

square_wave

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Is that a fact, that sound engineering community belives that cables ( assume matching impedance etc) makes a big difference ?
W.R.T cables, there are camps in the sound engineering community. Some do, some don't. But the preferences for recording gear of various types and amplifiers irrespective of measurements etc.. are legendary in this field. Only thing is that they are finicky about the engineering bit too because they know quite a bit of it themselves.
 

raghupb

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There is (yet) another subjective element called "bragging rights";) so no self respecting audiophile will ever be caught using random wires.




People trained or experienced can perform much better in blind tests conducted to identify whether there are differences in A, B, and X. There is yet another subjective element in this - namely, human aural acuity varies wildly. In other words, some people are innately better than others at making out differences between two sounds. For example, many people cannot identify a phase reversal while for some others it stands out like a sore thumb.

Here's a great TEDTalk highly recommended for folks who believe and treat the world as purely mechanistic, ignoring the emotional and subjective aspects of human senses.
So it is the difference between "Eat to live" vs "Live to eat"
There are other risque comparisons, but on open forum I'll desist :)
Cheers,
Raghu
 

spaace

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I agree, I bought a benchmark dac1 in 2007 (mainly based on stereophile's glowing objective measurement review) but could never warm to it - pun intended. It was the most sterile/cold/lifeless digital component I had heard.
Cheers,
Sid
... Oh ... Hmmm ...i wish i could hear what that sounded like too ...this is the most frustrating thing about this hobby imo ...at least for folks in India ...until some poor sod buys it we dont get to audition anything at all.
 

Kannan

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The challenge is to get the balance right. All frequencies should sound balanced. For example, by cleaning the power supply, certain frequencies may open up but the balance can go. How to get the balance back then becomes the huge challenge. Understanding that is very critical to get a musical sound.
What i audibly experienced beyond attaining the sound that I liked without further change of gears/cables did not in anyway throw off the balance.
Though there is no audible noise/hum when no music is playing and the speakers are dead ducks, still the noise floor can be a factor while playing music due to extraneous non musical inputs from the hundreds of components in the chain mostly I think induces by poor quality power supplies and dirty AC mains .
By reducing noise floor, the balance is not affected in anyway.
A darker background as is termed leads to sparkle in the highs without being edgy, better separation, timing, decay, more depth and a definite scale in the stage, melody and also dynamics.
 
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prem

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Kannan, I haven’t yet heard a single power conditioner I have liked. Each and every one of them I owned messed up the sound in some way. The negatives to my ears outweighed the positives it bought. I have owned Shunyata Hydra, BPT, Running Springs Audio Jaco, Alan Kafton Powerwing. In addition I have tried a locally manufactured CVT, an isolation transformer and some ground devices like Akiko Audio and Entreq. None worked for me. They all messed up the balance and made it non musical. I just couldn’t get them to sound correct in my system. I have owned each of the above power conditioners for over a year. So I did give it enough time. But no luck. Maybe I was doing something wrong :)
 
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Kannan

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Kannan, I haven’t yet heard a single power conditioner I have liked. Each and every one of them I owned messed up the sound in some way. The negatives to my ears outweighed the positives it bought. I have owned Shunyata Hydra, BPT, Running Springs Audio Jaco, Alan Kafton Powerwing. In addition I have tried a locally manufactured CVT, an isolation transformer and some ground devices like Akiko Audio and Entreq. None worked for me. They all messed up the balance and made it non musical. I just couldn’t get them to sound correct in my system. I have owned each of the above power conditioners for over a year. So I did give it enough time. But no luck. Maybe I was doing something wrong :)
I don't use any power conditioners or any types of voltage regulators. Only thing I have done is to run a dedicated supply from mains, added a 1KVA isolation transformer and removed all SMPS supplies from the chain. Moved from laptop based transport to ALLO Digione Signature.
 

prem

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Kannan, I already have a dedicated power line. I am only into vinyl. Isolation transformer too didn’t work for me. But I can understand it might work for digital because of the hash thrown back. Mine plays dead quiet and I don’t feel the need for any power cleaning
 

sidvee

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I also had bad listening experiences to early class D switching amps. I owned a bel canto s300 in 2008 which I never liked, which had a similar cold signature to the benchmark dac1. However class D has made huge strides, my most recent amp. being the nuprime st10 which I bought in 2017. Superb amp, It will compete easily with many $5000 Class A/B amps. I am considering a pair of evolution ones soon.
Cheers,
Sid
 

Enkay78

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Because there is paucity of MEASUREMENTS consensus, does not mean there shouldn't be a consensus to measurements (or even new measurements).

I mean both camps needs to realise the futility of status quo. The consumers when given a choice and a 'consensus' will decide the direction(s) of the market ......or the industry. The only macabre aspect is the 'almost wilful' sustenance by vested manufacturers of the flowery sonnets.

I am not saying there shouldn't be a Lamborghini/Ducati/Ferrari in audio....let there be wholely expensive and premium audio gear. Those who can afford should buy it. But however it should follow some rationale for pricing .......atleast to benefit all in the industry/and it's consumers. Some of the mumbo jumbo that is instilled to indoctrinate and sustain the conformational bias is appalling for 'newer consumers'. All sorts of claims are floating around without any reliability or measurability of the claim.....only except flowery sonnets.


Why can't more tests/evidence like this one https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10848570 to bring some measurability for veracity of the subjective claims of difference? In a way even new way to measure HiFi can evolve?

The dictum that 'higher premium price means higher and premium performance' needs to be either deconstructed or reconstructed with consensus of some reliable measurability......atleast to give some rationale and morality to the issue. So that we all can enjoy the hobby (with these honest manufacturers) with less snake oils.


At a personal level, one wants to enjoy music as an enjoyable journey, not something pushed by snake oil charms and voodoo magic of techno/pseudoscience. So choosing the grain from the chaff is still a struggle for newbie like me. (Atleast don't want a rabbit hole) :)
 

arj

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Why can't more tests/evidence like this one https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10848570 to bring some measurability for veracity of the subjective claims of difference? In a way even new way to measure HiFi can evolve?
Very true although practically speaking in the end Is High end audio perception even worth the effort of research would be the question. even coffee beans which are a much bigger market are done by the "Tongue" and "eye" as is Wine or tea, so we might well accept and move on that good music will always be by the "ear"

Esoteric and feelings driven content like music, paintings has to be lead by the feeling and emotion and measuring it might well be like saying that Love is chemicals and we can measure the amount of dopamine, endorphins and other chemicals to Objectively look at how much your partner or parent loves you :eek:
 

Enkay78

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Well I totally agree with the sublime nature of subjective feelings and emotions at the personal level.

I am more concerned with the vested subjectivity ......let's say from the snakecharmers side. How to bring them to accountability? Or will there be no saving grace of a herd wisdom etc?

(I somehow can see a similar analogy like allopathy/homeopathy , conventional medical therapy/quackery)

Btw I am not against any ethereal perception at an individual level.....music will be like this.
 

prem

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Enkay78, always look at an amp speaker combo when you are looking at numbers. For example most class D amps will have a very high damping factor. There are many speakers that don’t like a high damping factor. Class D amps work by constant switching. I am very sensitive to this as I find the sound becoming mechanical as a result of this constant switching. But there are many who may not be sensitive to this. Music is a sensory perception so there is going to be a lot of variance between how people perceive sound. There are no set rules by which you can play this game. Many members in this forum have been playing this game for decades and over the years have developed their own preferences.

As a thumb rule, try and keep source neutral. Amp-speaker combo, buy according to what floats your boat.

And because this hobby is about sensory perception, snake oil will always be a part of the hobby. No point getting very rigid about it. For some the snake oil works, even if it’s a placebo effect. And for some it doesn’t. One needs to respect that. As long as you perceive its improving the sound and giving you more joy, that’s all that matters.
 
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Enkay78

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Enkay78, always look at an amp speaker combo when you are looking at numbers. For example most class D amps will have a very high damping factor. There are many speakers that don’t like a high damping factor. Class D amps work by constant switching. I am very sensitive to this as I find the sound becoming mechanical as a result of this constant switching. But there are many who may not be sensitive to this. Music is a sensory perception so there is going to be a lot of variance between how people perceive sound. There are no set rules by which you can play this game. Many members in this forum have been playing this game for decades and over the years have developed their own preferences.

As a thumb rule, try and keep source neutral. Amp-speaker combo, buy according to what floats your boat.
Very sound advice.

I also follow this :

Source > amps/speakers> room acoustics.

But this is little OT now :)
 
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