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How do the 'non-subjectivists' choose their hi-fi systems?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Pete L, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    Tsk, tsk, forgetting about interactive effects and statistical independence.

    You speak but you do not know. That is not objective at all - a belief unsupported by evidence is not science, it is faith.

    In your case, it is a belief in an infallable magical entity - a deity of your own creation.
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    This still crapping on then
    fegs likes this.
  3. ClothEarsAndy

    ClothEarsAndy pfm Member

    Agree it should have been put out of its misery about 50 pages ago.
  4. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Whatever happened to maxflinn? He was very good at this prolongation game.
    Woodface likes this.
  5. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    An alternative might be working on the habit of checking oneself for dangerous levels of unintentional irony.
  6. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    If you think I’m a troll, adamdea, then why don’t you challenge me at the time? I challenge posters and posts that I think are either trolling, or unnecessarily aggressive (whether passively, like yours, or more overtly so). I do actively try* not to let irony slip into snide, and I commend that approach to you.

    *I won't claim 100% success in that regard, I'm not entirely lacking in self-awareness...
  7. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    FWIW, I do not think you're a troll.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  8. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Thank you.

    I'll be honest, I had my doubts about you. You turned up here a couple of months ago and almost immediately pitched in to some of the more contentious threads, fearlessly taking a pretty uncompromising line. It looked like trolling, even without your profile stuff. And then there's the 'well known member' sig, which made me wonder whether you weren't some former denizen reborn and, if so, what had led you to do that. So not an entirely auspicious start, to be frank.

    But I do agree that we'd probably get along just great over a beer, and we may even have similar objectives, albeit from opposite sides of the fence perhaps. So I'll set my reservations aside and hope we can all move on. :)
  9. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    You get that tag automatically after some number of posts unless you change it, which you're only allowed to do after some other number of posts.
  10. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Ah, didn't know that. Thanks, and apologies if any assumptions were unworthy.
  11. palacefan

    palacefan pfm Member

    Irrespective of knowledge this is a debate about listening to hi-fi ( not the music) and sweet Fanny Adams, whatever happened to just listening to the music and enjoyment.
  12. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Well, if you profess to enjoy going on hfi forums merely to pick arguments with those whom you identify as trolls, then......
  13. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    The 'merely' above is yours, not mine. Projection, perhaps?
  14. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    and again.
  15. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    You both seem like perfectly sensible people, so why are you fighting? Lockdown getting to you?
  16. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    Lockdown has not changed the nature of hifi forums, Mans. TBH I'm finding it (lockdown) quite agreeable, or at least tolerable. Hope you are too.
  17. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    As mentioned earlier I have an interest in high fidelity sound in the home and occasionally something related to this crops up. Not often because the genuine engineering and technical side is of no interest to the majority of home audio enthusiasts. Also because the sector had to isolate itself from the engineering and technical mainstream in order for the anti-science audiophile phenomenon to develop those that have a hobby interest in the technical side but look to audiophile and peripheral audio sources tend to pickup the basics distorted by an audiophile weighting. An example of this is blinding which is a huge bogeyman of massive interest to audiophiles but in the technical mainstream is a minor component of some kinds of experiments. Another is the curious reduction of some types of technical knowledge reasonably widely known in the 70s by technically interested hobbyists but less so today among the much smaller number of technically interested hobbyists. Some examples would be the thermodynamic effects of stuffing speakers, some details of cartridge/tonearm dynamics, some details of room acoustics although this is starting to return. I suspect one of the main reasons is the loss of publications like Wireless World which supported a technical view for hobbyists within the home audio sector whereas now one needs to look outside the hobby's publications for much of this type of technical information or at old publications.

    The original reason I retook an interest in the audiophile world was that my mother had developed a worryingly strong belief in homeopathy and alternative medicine. So long as it didn't grow more she could afford the significant sums of money she was giving to salespeople of products that claimed to cure all sorts of things that conventional medicine couldn't and it probably provided a placebo effect as well as focusing some attention on general health. The big concern for the family though was the possibility of her taking alternative medicine and rejecting conventional treatment when she became seriously ill. Family members and friends pointing out the absence of scientific evidence for the efficacy of the products and other indicators of a snake oil industry were met with complete denial and her becoming very distressed. Clearly the basis for this type of belief was largely an emotional one rather than a rational one. I know little of the science behind medicine but I do have the relevant scientific background for home audio and recalled exactly the same type of anti-science marketing to sell high markup products from the 70s with the arrival of the audiophile phenomenon that drove most of the technically literate like myself out of the sector. So I started to take an interest again with a view to what sustained these types of beliefs and what it took to knock them down. As it turned out when she did become seriously ill she carefully followed all instructions concerning conventional medicine and treatment and only took a small subset of alternative medicine that the doctors said was OK. After she had recovered the alternative medicine returned but not with the same scale or passion. The family became a lot less concerned.

    My interest however remained in how it was possible for people that were technically able enough to tie their own shoe laces were not technically able enough to recognise the audiophile phenomenon for what is was. Unlike a voyeur though any sense of emotional pleasure based perhaps on feeling smarter or the like doesn't really apply because the comprehension gap is too great. One needs to better someone that is broadly a peer for this to apply rather than something more like an adult bettering a child. The satisfaction is more emotionally detached like gaining knowledge or problem solving something like a crossword puzzle. Of course exactly the same type of emotional non-technical reasoning and placing faith in dubious authorities is currently driving the economic and social decline for the majority in the UK and so understanding this type thinking is no longer mainly restricted to unimportant areas like luxury goods.

    I doubt I would have responded like this to a question like that if it wasn't for lockdown but at least it addresses the threads topic unlike most after 50 pages.
  18. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    h.g that comes across as incredibly condescending, unfortunately. I’m sure you didn’t intend that. I do try to recognise that intelligence is something apart from knowledge, so a person who doesn’t have my knowledge may be equally or more knowledgeable in a discipline where I am ignorant. That would deserve my respect, and I’d not think of them as a child.
    DimitryZ likes this.
  19. ClothEarsAndy

    ClothEarsAndy pfm Member

    In fairness to HG, I think that there's been a lot of condescending comments from both sides in this discussion. I'm putting my own hand up here well, but there is also an aspect of pot/kettle/black from you. Quite frankly I don't understand the purpose or value of this thread anymore.

    It's clear that there's two deeply opposing viewpoints on this and neither is prepared to listen to, or show any respect to the other side. Both sides seem to insist that their's is the only sensible viewpoint and anything else is merely subjective/ scientific mumbo jumbo or bordering on a cult.

    My own approach, as an engineer, is that I rely a lot upon measurements but believe that there are clearly things that can't be measured. I've worked on many, many problems over the years where I had all the measurements in the world, but they couldn't explain a phenomena that I could clearly see (or maybe hear).

    However this doesn't mean that I believe that people can hear a lot of what they think that they can hear. For instance I find it hard to believe, but am open to being proven wrong, that anybody can hear the difference between two different mains cables or fuses (unless one is clearly substandard/ damaged). What seems to be an outright refusal to even engage in blind testing for one simple aspect like this, appears to me to be an admittance that they don't really have any confidence that they could hear any difference either.

    I suppose the only consolation is that if you want to spend £1,000 on a mains cable or £250 on a single fuse, without considering how the last 1 meter of cable can really make a difference that the last 20 km back to the substation didn't, then fair enough to you. It's your money and I have no right to get upset or call you names. My only anger around any of this is directed at the people who market such things. As I mentioned, I'd be perfectly happy if somebody could actually prove that it does make a difference and I would consider myself enlightened.

    I do think that there are some exceptional products in home audio, but there is also a lot of snake oil. This is the main reason why I tend not to take to a deep an interest in it but dip in when I'm looking to upgrade.The last time I took any real interest in it was when the likes of Messrs Belt and Hughes were around.

    I do find some of the 'what did science ever do for us' type comments quoting a few instances where science fu$£ed up over the years as quite amusing. They're clearly too 'Life of Brian' to be taken seriously. If you really feel like this I'd recommend you step away from your computer, hand over your mobile phone, switch off the broadband (and anything electric really, so the hifi's gone) and go back to your horse and cart. I hope you enjoy life without any of the comforts of modern life, kindly brought to you by scientists and engineers.

    Ok, rant over.
    mansr likes this.
  20. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    I don't think it ever had one, and the OP has subsequently (consequently?) been banned.

    I think you'll find that even the horse has some science to it, selective breeding and all that.

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