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Reviewer : Michael Fremer

Discussion in 'audio' started by daytona600, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Distributor and Manufacturer

    Having exhibited at some of the worlds top Hi-Fi shows I can whole heartedly agree with that comment!

    80%-90% of todays Hi-Fi is more about branding, exclusivity, technology and very little to do with audio performance and what will make recorded music sound more realistic in the home environment.
     
  2. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    IIRC the Randi thing boiled down to the two cables having to be electrically equivalent, hence they will sound the same, unless something paranormal is occurring, which wasn't an acceptable condition for Fremer. Impasse essentially.

    The saga does confirm that Fremeresque cablephiles concur that cables don't have a sound for surprising reasons. I'm not sure they've thought through what that implies for the $30000 a run jobs.

    But I enjoy reading him, and his video was very entertaining. It's clear what comes first. Not so sure about the reviewer phenomenon though.

    Paul
     
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Randi came across as the shyster here; he made a huge huff, puff and bluster arguing it was impossible to tell audio cables apart, and then as soon as Fremer rose to the bait with examples he quickly changed the rules of his test only to include identical measuring cables. Which audio cables obviously aren’t, thus making the test of no relevance whatsoever to the audio industry. Fremer pwned him IMO.
     
  4. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    Perhaps, but cables that are different may sound different, no surprise, and no need for $30000. Randi is about paranormal. If cables are normal then the challenge isn't applicable.

    IOW he's not going to give you $1m for hearing the adjustment of a tone control.

    The conclusion about the expensive cable industry though is obvious. It's prime Randi territory, but it requires a believer, a foo cable supplier and an engineer to duplicate the foo for pennies. And the former will not accept the latter.

    Paul
     
  5. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    Not quite. IIRC he required the cables to be electrically equivalent over the audible frequency range and allowed the use of any audiophile hardware. Under these conditions someone with a reasonable knowledge of how audio equipment works could arrange for audible differences to arise. I strongly suspect being told about this is what changed Randi's behaviour from baiting and provoking cable pushers (he was not interested in cable users) to backpedalling.
     
  6. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    How? Shielding to ground at only one end etc are NOT electrically equivalent
     
  7. jtrade

    jtrade pfm Member

    It was the German rectangular inner sleeve description that gave me a great Sunday morning laugh.
     
  8. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

    Randi never intended the test to have any relevance to the audio industry. He has always gone after the scamsters who claim paranormal powers - and in this case, people who claim "there is a difference, but science doesn't know how to measure it".
     
  9. dave charlton

    dave charlton cubist

    Didn't think much to the story re the guy who had a stroke. Juvenile bordering on supremacy imo :(
     
  10. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    One approach would be to use a nonlinearity in a frequency range where the properties of the cables differ to alias different information into the audible frequency range. To get energy into this frequency range one could add, for example, ultrasonic tones to a high resolution "audiophile" recording but this is a bit crude. An alternative could be to use instability in a boutique "audiophile" amplifier or design/modify one for the purpose. One could work with an "audiophile" plasma tweeter to do something acoustically. I expect there are a number of other approaches that people who know something about home audio could come up with.
     
  11. lennyw

    lennyw Still throwing Eephus pitches

    I think you might have missed the point -- to me, his impression of the chap who'd had the stroke was tragic, in that the chap is probably trying to tell his family: "What are you doing, that's a first pressing SXL and is worth 100s not $1!!!!" but can't. Made me think, I really must do the same with my kids...
     
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That’s how I heard it too. I’m certainly not a huge fan of impersonating the handicapped, but he made the point well.
     
  13. timola

    timola pfm Member

    I found him entertaining and he reminded me of Woody Allen. My thoughts were; what a mess? how many records! and you paid what for cables!!!

    I have to agree that vinyl wows more than digital.
     
  14. ssimon

    ssimon pfm Member

    OK, changing the subject, we're now onto the second Fremer video (the DVD I think he wants you to buy). He extols the virtues of the British vinyl and derides the American "slut" vinyl. Whether it's "slut" or not I can usually tell an American pressing from the 60's because the edge is not sharp so it's nicer to handle.
     
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I agree with him on the poor vinyl quality of many American albums, especially in the 70s when it got very noisy due to being recycled etc, but the cut and cover quality tends to be truly superb, e.g. original Impulse, Blue Note, RCA Living Stereo pressings etc. No UK album has ever had a cover as nicely made as a 60s Impulse. It is interesting comparing UK original jazz vinyl against its American counterpart, the vinyl is lovely and quiet, but the sound is often dead in the water compared to the US original cut. I assume due to being a tape generation or two later given it is an American musical form and that is where most of it was recorded. Blue Note, Impulse etc also had the advantage that Rudy Van Gelder did the cut as well as the recording so the original intent is undiluted right through the process. First pressing from country of artist origin remains the best rule of thumb.
     
  16. daytona600

    daytona600 Registered User

    Minus K ( very , very expensive )

    http://www.minusk.com/
     
  17. palacefan

    palacefan pfm Member

    Do the American reviewers operate under the " cooks perks" philosophy that our hi-fi press seem to ? In the UK I would generally know who writes reviews for SME and some Italian products and who I would expect to review Roksan products etc.

    I doubt any reviewers home or way pay full wack anyway.

    Personally I found the Stereophile video's enjoyable but reckon that Fremer needs to live about 150 years to play all that vinyl.
     
  18. ssimon

    ssimon pfm Member

    I was touched when he related how he helped sell a friend's record collection, who died young. His widow didn't know the value of some of the records.
    This lead him to think of the fate of his own collection.
    I thought he may have over valued the Brian May signed copy of Queen's first LP, with covering letter. It obviously had great value for him,but on the open market?
     
  19. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Imagineer

    I think they'd be entitled to trade prices.
     
  20. Sonci

    Sonci pfm Member

    Those Wilsons should be really good. The guy has tons of audio stuf but just one pair of speakers?!
    Very true what he says about streaming, every cd or vinyl I bought reminds me of a time in my life..
     

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