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Subjective vs Objective opinions, post your favourite links / experiences
2Bdecided
post Jul 18 2003, 11:13
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We're an objectivist audio community here. We don't necesarily believe that everything can be measured (psychoacoustic codecs prevent that anyway), but we do believe that subective opinions should be backed up by rigorous tests, intended to remove all possible bias from human subjective judgements and opinions.

I think this is a good thing. I read the following from Dibrom in a recently locked thread:

QUOTE
If we simply let people go around making claims without challenging them, we would be no further than the --r3mix days, and likely much worse even given the larger number of people that participate in these forums.

You seem to focus only on the negative aspect here (I think I know why....) and completely disregard the benefit that has been wrought by this attitude. Yes, some people might get scared off in the process, but overall, this attitude is more helpful than harmful -- much more so in fact. There have been numerous cases were real problems have been even more emphasized and brought to bear through the increased scrutiny these types of situations bring about.


I very much agree with this.

Look at the opposite case: look at most Hi-Fi magazines. They advice people on buying $1000s of equipment (not just choosing between free audio codecs!), yet their advice is usually unscientific. The listening is done sighted, and without any control conditions. Objective measurements are presented as being inferior and/or removed from what people actually hear. Manufactuers claims are repeated verbatim. Opinions are stated as fact, and little is ever questioned.

Most significantly, there is no sense in which the influence of the magazine is used to improve the state of the art. They simply comment, often in a virtually meaningless, marketing driven manner, on products which they decide to review. Rather than helping people to buy better Hi-Fi, and leading the manufactuers to build better Hi-Fi, they do the opposite: People are confused as to what really does sound better, and often buy overpriced junk; while manufactuers spend less time (and money) improving the sound of their equipment, and more time following the latest trend or marketing gimmic. The result is that it's all too easy to spend $20,000 on a Hi-Fi which sounds absolutely bloody awful!

The equivalent here would be to spend weeks encoding your CD collection using a command line and/or encoder that was pretty poor compared to the best that's been acheived, and is available for free. But we don't allow that. We don't let people claim that X is better than Y, when it isn't. We don't let people claim that Z has magical properties. We do testing, and we try to move forward. And that is a good thing.

The latest thread with Xerophase was a good thread IMO. Maybe it took two pages to express something that we should have said to him in one posting - but we were interested, he was interested, and we've got a useful result. We've learned something. By following the rulse of the forum. And by being polite and encouraging him to join in with how we do things here.

There's a lot in the "tone" of how you do something. Whether we accept unsubstantiated claims is not up for debate - we do not. But the manner in which you coax these people into doing things the right way is very important.

We've got to allow people who don't know any better (and sometimes even those of us who do!) to make unsubstantiated claims at first, so that other members can point out that they're unsubstantiated, and suggest a fair way of testing them. This doesn't mean we accept unsubstantiated claims as truth, but it does mean that people sometimes need to be allowed to post them as a starting point for discussion and investigation. "I think X" is an unsubstantiated claim, but it's OK if it leads on to "How can I test if it's true?"

We are an objectivist audio community.

If you have any good objectivist/subjectivist links, links showing the importance of evidence, proof, and blind testing against feelings and opinions, or the opposite side of the argument, feel free to post them.

Cheers,
David.

http://sound.westhost.com/cables-p2.htm

http://skepdic.com/blondlot.html

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/
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Axon
post Apr 1 2009, 18:10
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There isn't anything wrong with subjective experiences, emotions etc when valuing audio equipment - the problem is that, well, they're subjective. They only have meaning to other people as they perceive your emotions as important and meaningful to them. And there are a huge number of reasons why I shouldn't care about anybody's emotional experience with their audio - placebo only being the best of them. Quite simply, requiring audio discussions have a rational basis of discussion makes discussion more meaningful, and that necessarily means DBTs.

Think about that the next time you see some argument blow up on AA or SH.tv or AVSForum because two guys think they are absolutely infallible in their perceptions. Then compare with how many times that happens here...
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 3 2009, 20:27
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QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 1 2009, 13:10) *
Quite simply, requiring audio discussions have a rational basis of discussion makes discussion more meaningful, and that necessarily means DBTs.

Think about that the next time you see some argument blow up on AA or SH.tv or AVSForum because two guys think they are absolutely infallible in their perceptions. Then compare with how many times that happens here...


The history of audio component ABX tests is that they originated in a regional hi fi club. They were devised to avoid exactly the kinds of blow-ups you describe. They achived that outcome, almost to perfection. The other thing they did is pretty much convert all of our amplifier builders into speaker builders. ;-)
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Axon
post Apr 3 2009, 20:40
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 3 2009, 14:27) *
QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 1 2009, 13:10) *
Quite simply, requiring audio discussions have a rational basis of discussion makes discussion more meaningful, and that necessarily means DBTs.

Think about that the next time you see some argument blow up on AA or SH.tv or AVSForum because two guys think they are absolutely infallible in their perceptions. Then compare with how many times that happens here...


The history of audio component ABX tests is that they originated in a regional hi fi club. They were devised to avoid exactly the kinds of blow-ups you describe. They achived that outcome, almost to perfection. The other thing they did is pretty much convert all of our amplifier builders into speaker builders. ;-)


Really?

That's one of the best examples I've ever heard of for blind testing improving audio fidelity (and its converse, subjectivism holding audio back).
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 6 2009, 01:26
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QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 3 2009, 15:40) *
QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 3 2009, 14:27) *
QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 1 2009, 13:10) *
Quite simply, requiring audio discussions have a rational basis of discussion makes discussion more meaningful, and that necessarily means DBTs.

Think about that the next time you see some argument blow up on AA or SH.tv or AVSForum because two guys think they are absolutely infallible in their perceptions. Then compare with how many times that happens here...


The history of audio component ABX tests is that they originated in a regional hi fi club. They were devised to avoid exactly the kinds of blow-ups you describe. They achived that outcome, almost to perfection. The other thing they did is pretty much convert all of our amplifier builders into speaker builders. ;-)


Really?


Absolutely.

QUOTE
That's one of the best examples I've ever heard of for blind testing improving audio fidelity (and its converse, subjectivism holding audio back).


Then we tried to spread ABX to a somewhat larger hi fi club - the AES! ;-)

ABX didn't take hold quite as well in the AES. There are still quite a few crazies in the AES.
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Axon
post Apr 6 2009, 03:39
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 5 2009, 19:26) *
Then we tried to spread ABX to a somewhat larger hi fi club - the AES! ;-)

ABX didn't take hold quite as well in the AES. There are still quite a few crazies in the AES.
Really? I thought the crazies were thrown out in the with the early 90s cable debate, Meyer/Moran, The Great Debate papers, etc. In fact, a lot of audiophiles seem to have a lot of animosity for the AES. Are the two cozier than I thought?
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- 2Bdecided   Subjective vs Objective opinions   Jul 18 2003, 11:13
- - fewtch   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 18 2003, 03:13 AM)We a...   Jul 18 2003, 11:45
- - KikeG   Description and discussion at rec.audio.high-end o...   Jul 18 2003, 11:51
- - KikeG   About the objective vs. subjective issue... ABX te...   Jul 18 2003, 12:00
- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (fewtch @ Jul 18 2003, 10:45 AM)QUOTE (...   Jul 18 2003, 12:05
- - fewtch   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 18 2003, 04:05 AM)QUOT...   Jul 18 2003, 12:16
- - 2Bdecided   KikeG beat me to it. Every time I think about th...   Jul 18 2003, 12:23
- - fewtch   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 18 2003, 04:23 AM)Kike...   Jul 18 2003, 12:35
- - Gabriel   QUOTE The problem is, I'd be too honest. I...   Jul 18 2003, 13:30
- - 2Bdecided   It's funny - we tell "hi-end" people...   Jul 18 2003, 13:54
- - fewtch   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 18 2003, 05:54 AM)It...   Jul 18 2003, 14:02
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- - Light-Fire   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 18 2003, 05:13) We...   Oct 22 2008, 02:26
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