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Author Topic: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough  (Read 5488 times)

JimH

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Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« on: February 11, 2015, 06:28:30 pm »

User livelistenlearn posted this on ComputerAudiophile.com.  Posted here for your enjoyment.  It made me laugh.

----------
in reference to the serious posts in this other thread*:
$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

 having scoured through other recent thought-provoking threads, kindly allow me to propose several sound reasons as to why one may fail to appreciate the efficacy of a $10k ethernet cable:

1) your high-res files are not high-res enough.

DSD was good yesterday. today, you need at least DSF and MQA. spend more. test extensively, lest ye be branded as a recalcitrant, stubborn old coot, time-trapped in the vinyl and/or CDDA era of the 70s or 80s or 90s < kindly tick whichever is applicable.

2) your gear is not good enough.

 reflect on the 10% rule of thumb = to adequately justify a $10k cable in your system, the total net amortised value of all your gear in one listening system should be worth at least $100k in 2015 dollars. that million-dollar system that you have assembled over the years may not be good enough. because audio technology has moved on = today’s ethernet cables were not designed to work with yesterday’s tubes.

3) your listening room is not good enough.

 build an anechoic chamber that exceeds iso1 cleanroom standards with a vacuum diffusion pump and hepa/ulna filters. accept that sub-atomic particles (real and hypothetical) might still theoretically affect the transmissions of sound waves in your chamber. nevertheless, decontaminate and de-toxify yourself religiously before entering naked. and, try not to breathe when you listen.

 4) your ears are not good enough.

 not to question anyone’s audiophile credentials but taking out your eyes is too extreme.

 instead, consider bat ear transplants. remember: you need to get a pair for balanced input. stereo and 3D sound-staging is for amateurs, what you really need is echolocation or biosonar. when you become “batman”, you will ace DBTs with complete aplomb.

 5) your brain is not good enough.

 train your brain to think that nothing is impossible. believe in every unproven or inexplicable phenomena and belief system. better still, create and propagate a belief system of your own because anything is possible.

 if you wish to contribute to the future human gene pool, always be vigilant, imaginative and productive. the next time you hear a rustle in the grass do not limit the possibilities to wind or an existing predator. why not imagine dragons? with this in mind, boldly go forth and reproduce like rabbits so that one of your future off-spring may eventually evolve into batman - see above.

 6) you are old, perhaps even lonely, and at times, need little blue pills to attain audible results.

 here in CA, serious scientific work is in progress to resolve this issue. you are encouraged to discuss and debate until a suitable solution is found. apparently, even the most perfect bit-perfect software player on this planet will not help you. NVM if the definitive solution is not uncovered in your lifetime. at least you tried. and, hopefully, had some fun along the way in good company. as well as nice wine, single malt or whatever your “poison” may be.

 carefully and conscientiously address all the ^, and if you still cannot fully appreciate the power of a highest-end ethernet cable, then apply Occam’s Razor. which will inevitably bring you to the conclusion that your specific cable is what some people call a “lemon”, when clearly what you need is an “apple”.

send it back immediately. request for a replacement. asking for a refund implies that you give up. no true-blue CA-er ever gives up.

 more good news: when you finally hear the difference, there is still the next challenge to look forward to = convincing the world that you can, and everybody else should.

 to succeed in this great life mission, take Commander Spock’s good advice = “live long and prosper”. as we all know, Spock’s credentials are impeccable – he has served as Science Officer aboard the Starship Enterprise for 49 years. please also consider his ears and how young he looks these days... which explain why he even has an attractive girlfriend who speaks fluent Klingon = one of the languages frequently employed in CA to discuss the issue of digital jitter.

 cheers
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mwillems

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 06:35:22 pm »

That's hilarious! 

It reminds me of this old chestnut (attributed to Sean Adams of SlimDevices):

Quote
Audio Woo Checklist

You claim that an

( ) audible
( ) measurable
( ) hypothetical

improvement in sound quality can be attained by:

( ) upsampling
( ) increasing word size
( ) vibration dampening
( ) bi-wiring
( ) replacing the external power supply
( ) using a different lossless format
( ) decompressing on the server
( ) removing bits of metal from skull
( ) using ethernet instead of wireless
( ) inverting phase
( ) installing bigger connectors
( ) installing Black Gate caps
( ) installing ByBee filters
( ) installing hospital-grade AC jacks
( ) defragmenting the hard disk
( ) running older firmware

Your idea will not work. Specifically, it fails to account for:

( ) the placebo effect
( ) your ears honestly aren't that good
( ) your idea has already been thoroughly disproved
( ) modern DACs upsample anyway
( ) those products are pure snake oil
( ) lossless formats, by definition, are lossless
( ) those measurements are bogus
( ) sound travels much slower than you think
( ) electric signals travel much faster than you think
( ) that's not how binary arithmetic works
( ) that's not how TCP/IP works
( ) the Nyquist theorem
( ) the can't polish a turd theorem
( ) bits are bits

Your subsequent arguments will probably appeal in desperation to such esoterica as:

( ) jitter
( ) EMI
( ) thermal noise
( ) existentialism
( ) cosmic rays

And you will then change the subject to:

( ) theories are not the same as facts
( ) measurements don't tell everything
( ) not everyone is subject to the placebo effect
( ) blind testing is dumb
( ) you can't prove what I can't hear
( ) science isn't everything

Rather than engage in this tired discussion, I suggest exploring the following factors which are more likely to improve sound quality in your situation:

( ) room acoustics
( ) source material
( ) type of speakers
( ) speaker placement
( ) crossover points
( ) equalization
( ) Q-tips
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JimH

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 06:44:31 pm »

Q-tips...  Laughing out loud.  Thanks.

livelistenlearn's style reminded me of Douglas Adams, probably no relation to Sean.  Still it makes one wonder.

I've been taking a pounding over on ComputerAudiphile since we removed Jplay.  This thread starts out innocuously, then deteriorates into a first rate food fight:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f8-general-forum/should-blind-testing-discussion-be-banned-computer-audiophile-poll-23277/
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mwillems

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2015, 07:57:13 pm »

I read about twenty pages of that thread.  It made my heart hurt.  You're made of sterner stuff than I am to keep going back into that.  Some of those folks seem quite bright, and some seem to have good intentions if a little too much enthusiasm.  But there are some genuinely unpleasant people haunting that thread, not to mention a few outright conspiracy theorists. 

In their imaginations you and Chris sit around drinking brandy laughing at audiophiles, listening to 8-bit mono recordings through an old transistor radio, quietly chanting "bits are bits," while plotting to destroy JPl*y and time-lapse editing forum posts.

It's kind of mind-blowing frankly.



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jmone

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 08:06:00 pm »

I'm grateful I don't understand (or have been infected by) the obsessive pursuit of the "bit perfect" concept + polishing the bits will increase the enjoyment of the music.  Imagine if this approach was translated to eating out out a restaurant.... I'm sure such diners would want to experience a "pure" food experience by:
1) Reduce Delay by sitting at the "pass" instead of the table
2) Refuse to use any condiments/Mixes as it would violate what the Chef intended
3) Bring their own preprepared crockery / cutlery to minimise any Discolouration
4) Dissect the food into the smallest pieces as High Resolution eating is where it is at

 ;D ;D
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jmone

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2015, 08:10:02 pm »

(Now to prod the Horse and Dog....)

I think JR are also guilty of feeding this from time to time.  Jim and Matt rightfully pursue the science arguments on one hand but then arbitrarily adds audiophile stuff like the recent SRC changes that:
- you don't expect anyone to hear an objectively tested improvement with, yet
- it takes up valuable dev effort, and
- brings new bugs (such as distorting live streams & introducing video sync issues)

...at what point do you stop feeding the audiophile beast?

...how about adding an ABX feature to MC and let golden ear users test proposed changes like SRC and post their results?  Stuff that passes get included, the rest are dropped on the floor faster than a Hospital Grade Power Point.
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mwillems

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2015, 08:33:20 pm »

(Now to prod the Horse and Dog....)

Yeah but I think JR are also guilty of feeding this from time to time.  Jim and Matt rightfully pursues the science arguments on one hand but then adds stuff like the recent SRC changes that:
- you don't expect anyone to hear an objectively tested improvement with, yet
- it takes up valuable dev effort, and
- brings new bugs (such as distorting live streams & introducing video sync issues)

...at what point do you stop feeding the audiophile beast?

In their defense: the new SRC (when fully ironed out) at least has the benefit of improving something objectively measurable in the output: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=95509.0.  It may or may not be audible, but it's a real change that can be validated scientifically.  

That's light years ahead of "I'm sure X is true because I heard it myself, and I read that one engineer said he measured something one time (but provided no actual measurements)."

For the record, I couldn't hear a difference in the new resampler either  ;)
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jmone

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 08:52:24 pm »

In their defense: the new SRC (when fully ironed out) at least has the benefit of improving something objectively measurable in the output: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=95509.0.  It may or may not be audible, but it's a real change that can be validated scientifically.

I must be feeling argumentative today  ;D so I'll push on for fun.  I agree in this case it can be validated as producing "different bits" but where is the validation it is "better audio".  Because the label says it is "High Precision", who would not want that!?  

Matt gets hammered all the time to allows different / "better" re-samplers and pushes back on the same grounds of effort vs reward.

Quote
That's light years ahead of "I'm sure X is true because I heard it myself, and I read that one engineer said he measured something one time (but provided no actual measurements)."
Yup this are easy to laugh at but I'm back to the argument that changes like SRC are just as arbitrary as well with 0 objective testing by JR developers or users.  Did Matt sit down and ABX them, run a panel of "experts", provide a setup for JR users to compare?  I'd wager that you could just put a Check Box that said "ABX High Precision" mode that did nothing yet produce glowing reports of differences.

Quote
For the record, I couldn't hear a difference in the new re-sampler either  ;)
You need better cables then!
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jmone

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 08:59:28 pm »

ps - Don't tell anyone but... I'm really just jealous that dev effort is going on stuff not on my own personal/selfish list of priorities.  So much to do, so little time  :'(
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JimH

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 10:06:12 pm »

I'd wager that you could just put a Check Box that said "ABX High Precision" mode that did nothing yet produce glowing reports of differences.
Shhh...
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fitbrit

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2015, 11:03:38 pm »

Shhh...

Ahhh! I bet you already did that with "Use hardware acceleration" for video! :)
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jmone

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 12:21:30 am »

Mmmm Jim did not take the Bait ...maybe I'll post over at ComputerAudiophile :)
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mojave

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 09:02:16 am »

I'd wager that you could just put a Check Box that said "ABX High Precision" mode that did nothing yet produce glowing reports of differences.
I've been surprised over the years of the various discussions I've seen of the audible improvements from the last release of one version (i.e. 13.0.280) to the first public release of the next version (i.e. 14.0.27).  :)
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RSleith

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Re: Your Listening Room is Not Good Enough
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2015, 11:53:54 am »

Quote
I have to disagree with the premise of this article. You will be wasting your money if you use this cable with music in mp3 format. You will only get the full value of this cable if you rip your CDs to an compressed lossless format like AIFF or WAV. Also your CDs needed to ripped while the moon is full.

My belly hurts from laughing!
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