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Article: Why We Need Audiophiles, The subjective perspective
2tec
post Apr 16 2009, 14:55
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I'm interested in what the HA community thinks about this new Gizmodo article, or blog, about Michael Fremer, an audio reviewer from Stereophile, which clearly goes completely against the grain around here. For instance:

"We play my solid 256kbps VBR MP3 of "Heroes" off my iPod; it sounds like shit. Free of pops and crackles, yes, but completely lifeless, flat in every way. This is the detail that matters: Audiophiles are basically synesthesiacs. They "see" music in three-dimensional visual space. You close your eyes in Fremer's chair, and you can perceive a detailed 3D matrix of sound, with each element occupying its own special space in the air. It's crazy and I've never experienced anything like it." ~ Why we need audiophiles


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kornchild2002
post Apr 16 2009, 18:04
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QUOTE (2tec @ Apr 16 2009, 06:55) *
They "see" music in three-dimensional visual space. You close your eyes in Fremer's chair, and you can perceive a detailed 3D matrix of sound, with each element occupying its own special space in the air.



This made me laugh a lot. I didn't bother reading the whole article as there is no need to. However, I didn't realize that audiophiles had a third eye allowing them to actually see sound waves in three dimensions (possibly four?) just pouring out of $350,000 speakers. Hell, I would go crazy if I actually saw my music rather than listening to it. All those sound waves going everywhere would drive me insane. I guess I would hold myself up on a high horse too if I could actually see music. I guess 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the rest of us will just have to be fine with listening to music instead of trying to pear into the fourth dimension.
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rpp3po
post Apr 16 2009, 19:06
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In the context of synesthesia the 3D metaphor is really amiss (like about 99% of anything audio related in the context of Fremer). But it's not complete bull. About 5 years ago I did extensive ABX tests (128kbit/s ABR AAC) with my brother-in-law, who was studying Jazz back then. Out of 20 random Jazz tracks (modern recordings from the 90's and 00's) he could differentiate 19 (myself 3). And he always explained that he heard differences within the spatial image in his head.

PS: We later repeated the tests with Nero 1.0.7.0 at q .5 (~200kb/s) and stopped after 5 tries, because he said that the differences he had originally heard were completely gone.

This post has been edited by rpp3po: Apr 16 2009, 19:19
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kornchild2002
post Apr 16 2009, 23:31
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QUOTE (rpp3po @ Apr 16 2009, 11:06) *
But it's not complete bull. About 5 years ago I did extensive ABX tests (128kbit/s ABR AAC) with my brother-in-law, who was studying Jazz back then. Out of 20 random Jazz tracks (modern recordings from the 90's and 00's) he could differentiate 19 (myself 3). And he always explained that he heard differences within the spatial image in his head.


I was actually making fun of being able to see sound waves coming out of the speakers in the fourth dimension. I can understand if some people are able to piece together a spatial image in their head. I have this ability when it comes to pip networks, wells, forces acting on objects, etc. I can pictures these things in three dimensions in my head. It is just that the quote kind of came off like he has the ability to actually see sound waves with a third eye or something. That and the whole 3D aspect is just way too "out there" to ignore. That is why I made such an obscene comment about using a third eye to see in the fourth dimension and that someone's vision would constantly be clouded with sound waves (since nearly everything makes noise). Just trying to poke fun at something which is kind of correct but mostly bull crap.

QUOTE (SnTholiday @ Apr 16 2009, 14:05) *
Do you think Fremer really gets into the music with his "$350,000 system", or does he dwell on what can be tweaked or repositioned or even replaced/upgraded. You can't really enjoy the music if you are constantly critiqing the equipment it is playing on. It's a hard habit to break.


That is a good question. Does he always listen for what can be changed or does he actually sit down and enjoy music? As previously stated, most people can still enjoy music regardless of what it is played on. They start listening to the actual song and stop trying to judge it for quality. I know that many musicians actually burn rough copies of their songs and listen to them in the car and at home on their systems (both of which probably weren't $350,000). I couldn't stand listening to music always judging its quality rather than actually enjoying what was coming out. Additionally, if I were extremely anal about these things, I would never be able to fully enjoy music unless I was sitting at home listening to my $350,000 sound system. I imagine that I would even have a hard time enjoying concerts. I know I wouldn't be able to enjoy concerts dealing with metal as everyone tries to push the volume up to obscene levels with clarity often taking a backseat.
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Posts in this topic
- 2tec   Article: Why We Need Audiophiles   Apr 16 2009, 14:55
- - lvqcl   QUOTE Audiophiles are basically synesthesiacs. Ne...   Apr 16 2009, 15:29
- - nig nig the conqueror   I just got through reading that and I HAD to come ...   Apr 16 2009, 15:31
- - Fandango   Hey , nig nig! How can you say that! They ...   Apr 16 2009, 15:44
|- - Nick.C   QUOTE (Fandango @ Apr 16 2009, 15:44) The...   Apr 16 2009, 19:46
- - Bodhi   If I had a $350,000 stereo system I wouldn...   Apr 16 2009, 16:03
- - krabapple   Sad to read how many commenters there thought it w...   Apr 16 2009, 16:16
|- - nig nig the conqueror   QUOTE (krabapple @ Apr 16 2009, 11:16) Sa...   Apr 16 2009, 16:39
- - Arnold B. Krueger   Unlike most people who post here, I've had the...   Apr 16 2009, 16:32
|- - pdq   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 16 2009, 11...   Apr 16 2009, 16:54
||- - krabapple   IIRC (and I may not) in his 'real life' Fr...   Apr 16 2009, 17:02
|- - cpchan   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 16 2009, 10...   Apr 16 2009, 21:24
|- - shenzi   Elsewhere on the site someone posted a link to an ...   Apr 17 2009, 11:47
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (shenzi @ Apr 17 2009, 06:47) Elsew...   Apr 17 2009, 16:32
- - skelly831   I've been a Gizmodo reader for a while, but al...   Apr 16 2009, 16:41
- - 2Bdecided   I don't think it's that bad. If you want t...   Apr 16 2009, 16:44
|- - nig nig the conqueror   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 16 2009, 11:44) So...   Apr 16 2009, 16:50
- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (Bodhi @ Apr 16 2009, 07:03) If I h...   Apr 16 2009, 17:04
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Ron Jones @ Apr 16 2009, 12:04) I...   Apr 16 2009, 18:03
- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (2tec @ Apr 16 2009, 06:55) They ...   Apr 16 2009, 18:04
|- - rpp3po   In the context of synesthesia the 3D metaphor is r...   Apr 16 2009, 19:06
||- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (rpp3po @ Apr 16 2009, 11:06) But i...   Apr 16 2009, 23:31
||- - benski   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 16 2009, 18:31...   Apr 17 2009, 00:40
||- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (benski @ Apr 16 2009, 16:40) The 4...   Apr 17 2009, 04:13
|- - Linux Zealot Troll   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 16 2009, 18:04...   Apr 18 2009, 22:29
- - caligae   This might finally give some insight to their obje...   Apr 16 2009, 18:35
- - 2Bdecided   But good systems with excellently matched speakers...   Apr 16 2009, 18:41
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 16 2009, 13:41) Bu...   Apr 16 2009, 21:49
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 16 2009, 20...   Apr 17 2009, 13:16
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 17 2009, 08:16) Le...   Apr 17 2009, 17:37
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 17 2009, 08:16) QU...   Apr 17 2009, 20:16
- - zipr   Has there ever been any studies where vinyl, CD, a...   Apr 16 2009, 19:30
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (zipr @ Apr 16 2009, 14:30) Has the...   Apr 17 2009, 16:45
|- - Kees de Visser   QUOTE (krabapple @ Apr 17 2009, 16:45) QU...   Apr 17 2009, 17:09
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (krabapple @ Apr 17 2009, 11:45) QU...   Apr 17 2009, 23:47
- - timcupery   synesthesia is a real thing, and the comparison ma...   Apr 16 2009, 20:22
- - HotshotGG   QUOTE I'm interested in what the HA community ...   Apr 16 2009, 21:17
- - Axon   I'm not really sure Fremer and Mahoney actuall...   Apr 16 2009, 21:24
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 16:24) QUOTE (...   Apr 17 2009, 17:02
- - Axon   Nope. According to Mejias, Fremer's a Jersey m...   Apr 16 2009, 21:51
- - SnTholiday   Do you think Fremer really gets into the music wit...   Apr 16 2009, 22:05
- - DVDdoug   2tec, Thanks for that post & link. Good stuf...   Apr 16 2009, 23:08
|- - carpman   QUOTE It's like when you go to the symphony, a...   Apr 17 2009, 08:30
- - Axon   I think it's abundantly clear that Fremer is a...   Apr 16 2009, 23:45
|- - /mnt   So if I upgrade my crappy PC speakers and my cheap...   Apr 17 2009, 02:01
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 18:45) I think...   Apr 17 2009, 17:14
|- - hybris   QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 23:45) I think...   Apr 19 2009, 10:10
|- - cpchan   QUOTE (hybris @ Apr 19 2009, 04:10) Is th...   Apr 19 2009, 12:01
|- - hybris   QUOTE (cpchan @ Apr 19 2009, 12:01) QUOTE...   Apr 19 2009, 12:43
|- - cpchan   QUOTE (hybris @ Apr 19 2009, 06:43) Eatin...   Apr 19 2009, 13:20
|- - hybris   QUOTE (cpchan @ Apr 19 2009, 13:20) QUOTE...   Apr 19 2009, 18:55
- - B0RK   From what I have read , I have to say I see no pro...   Apr 17 2009, 00:56
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 19:56) From wh...   Apr 17 2009, 17:16
- - Axon   Calm down B0RK. (B0RK B0RK.) None of us are arguin...   Apr 17 2009, 01:11
- - greynol   Like the suggestion that an expensive hi-fi system...   Apr 17 2009, 01:18
- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 15:56) He is a...   Apr 17 2009, 02:38
- - shakey_snake   We need audiophools about as much as we need AIDS....   Apr 17 2009, 05:12
- - B0RK   Well fine thoughts expressed indeed . But I still...   Apr 17 2009, 05:13
|- - cpchan   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 23:13) I Still...   Apr 17 2009, 05:29
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 21:13) So I fe...   Apr 17 2009, 05:32
|- - greynol   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 21:13) Oh ...   Apr 17 2009, 06:35
|- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 20:13) Many of...   Apr 17 2009, 06:40
|- - Axon   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 23:13) I Still...   Apr 17 2009, 07:18
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 00:13) Oh ...   Apr 17 2009, 17:24
- - Dracaena   Hilarious. For $350k you could spend a good f...   Apr 17 2009, 07:36
- - MichaelW   @carpman One day you'll be old, fat, and in th...   Apr 17 2009, 09:11
|- - carpman   QUOTE (MichaelW @ Apr 17 2009, 08:11) One...   Apr 17 2009, 09:57
- - HotshotGG   QUOTE There is a cottage industry in the audiophil...   Apr 17 2009, 13:58
|- - cpchan   QUOTE (HotshotGG @ Apr 17 2009, 07:58) I ...   Apr 17 2009, 14:38
- - B0RK   First, @2Bdecided ,Thanks you for bringing some mu...   Apr 17 2009, 21:14
|- - rpp3po   A post's length often inversely correlates wit...   Apr 17 2009, 21:53
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 13:14) Some vi...   Apr 17 2009, 23:12
|- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 12:14) for all...   Apr 17 2009, 23:23
- - pdq   This is very disappointing. Year after year the me...   Apr 17 2009, 21:40
- - Axon   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 17 2009, 10...   Apr 18 2009, 04:22
|- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 17 2009, 19:22) The dis...   Apr 18 2009, 05:50
- - B0RK   @Ron Jones well ...Now in your post you switched t...   Apr 18 2009, 06:15
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 22:15) So afte...   Apr 18 2009, 17:39
||- - chelgrian   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 18 2009, 16:39...   Apr 18 2009, 17:48
||- - Fandango   QUOTE (chelgrian @ Apr 18 2009, 18:48) So...   Apr 18 2009, 17:50
|- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 21:15) You...   Apr 18 2009, 20:17
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 01:15) This is...   Apr 19 2009, 06:07
- - botface   Just thought I'd throw in a couple of observat...   Apr 18 2009, 12:35
|- - [JAZ]   QUOTE (botface @ Apr 18 2009, 12:35) On t...   Apr 18 2009, 16:14
- - ShowsOn   QUOTE (2tec @ Apr 16 2009, 22:55) I'm...   Apr 18 2009, 13:40
|- - Axon   QUOTE (ShowsOn @ Apr 18 2009, 07:40) QUOT...   Apr 18 2009, 17:13
||- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 18 2009, 12:13) QUOTE (...   Apr 18 2009, 23:42
||- - B0RK   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 18 2009, 10:39) B0RK, y...   Apr 19 2009, 01:41
||- - Frumious B   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 20:41) That we...   Apr 19 2009, 04:05
||- - pdq   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 20:41) To trul...   Apr 19 2009, 04:55
|||- - B0RK   QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 18 2009, 21:55) It truly...   Apr 19 2009, 06:22
|||- - krabapple   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 19 2009, 01:22) But We ...   Apr 19 2009, 06:42
|||- - pdq   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 19 2009, 01:22) QUOTE (...   Apr 19 2009, 13:15
||- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) What...   Apr 19 2009, 06:36
||- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 20:41) To trul...   Apr 19 2009, 12:21
||- - Frumious B   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 19 2009, 07...   Apr 19 2009, 14:10
|- - Fandango   QUOTE (ShowsOn @ Apr 18 2009, 14:40) Frem...   Apr 18 2009, 17:43
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (Fandango @ Apr 18 2009, 09:43) Isn...   Apr 18 2009, 19:07
- - Frumious B   What I find ridiculous about this article is the c...   Apr 18 2009, 17:22
- - ShowsOn   QUOTE (Frumious B @ Apr 19 2009, 01:22) W...   Apr 19 2009, 04:58
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