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Article: Why We Need Audiophiles, The subjective perspective
Frumious B
post Apr 18 2009, 17:22
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What I find ridiculous about this article is the continued and elitist notion that those of us who prefer digital, even in compressed formats, are somehow sacrificing quality on the altar of convenience. I just went through a crapload of trouble in the last couple of months to make sure that I wasn't sacrificing anything in the quality department by reripping virtually my entire collection. If I can't reliably distinguish the AAC files on my iPod from the lossless files on my hard drives (and I haven't found any that I can do so with yet) then what, precisely, have I sacrificed? If anything I would argue that I have made vast improvements in my ability to access and enjoy my music while giving up nothing.
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kornchild2002
post Apr 18 2009, 17:39
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 22:15) *
So after all that effort, having companies & people implying that even the (Downscaled CD) is not a mandatory experience cause it's "indistinguishable" & they can prove (lol) they cannot hear the differnece by failing their foobar ABX tests , & make people pay for lossy music claiming that is the product , is just outrageous really.

You know what I mean ?

This is where we are at now ..:
Every time the word Audiophile is being thrown anywhere nowadays,
you get a bunch of Trolls, waving their Ipods in fury, taking a break from doing spectrals of their transcodes,
& pointing un/ (& sometimes over) educated fingers at analog purists like Fremer.


You really aren't getting your point across. Are people who listen to lossy music through an iPod uneducated? Does conducting a blind ABX test in foobar2000 prove nothing (for that person)? I have absolutely no idea what you mean. No one here is a troll. In fact, someone like Fremer would be perceived as a troll as they often have outrageous ideas without any proof to back them up and their opinion on quality changes based on what they know about the source material (like in ShowsOn's example). They will then go against what we know by posting a whole bunch of nonsense. That is a troll. Someone who listens to lossy music on their iPod and fails a blind ABX test between a lossy and lossless encoder is not a troll. Someone asking for a true blind test so that someone can backup their claims is not a troll.

Lastly, there are big differences between audiophiles and audiophools. An audiophile is someone who cares about sound quality. They are willing to take the time to conduct blind ABX tests to determine what lossy encoder and setting is right for them (or if they should go the lossless route). Audiophools are people who will change their opinions based on what they know about the source material, they look down on blind testing methods because they know that they probably will fail them, and they preach what they think and aren't willing to even look at the other side of the coin. No one has problems with audiophiles here. In fact, nearly everyone here is an audiophile as they care about their music (yes, someone can be an audiophile and listen to lossy music despite what you may think). We just don't like it when the audiophools come along and post nonsense.

B0RK, you continue to step around my question regarding blind ABX testing (which Frumious B asked again). What is so wrong/incorrect/punishable by death when someone listens to lossy music on an iPod knowing that they cannot properly ABX the differences between that lossy music and the source lossy files?
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Fandango
post Apr 18 2009, 17:43
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QUOTE (ShowsOn @ Apr 18 2009, 14:40) *
Fremer is the guy who wrote a glowing review about a recent vinyl reissue of The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, but then a few days later was informed that it was cut from a digital tape, and thus surreptitiously took down his old review, and replaced it with one complaining that the album sounds too digital.

This is exactly what I expect from people who push nonsense as if it is an ideological agenda. The less said about him the better.

Isn't this the center around which the so-called audiophiles rotate? They want to know such details. They want to know that the casing of their speakers is from a special wood that doesn't suck up the livelyness of the sound or that the music was produced and delivered all analog and that their friends all think feel the same about how a human being has to listen to music properly.

Hence the refusal to do blind tests, and the weird 180°-turn of Fremer regarding the Pet Sounds pressing. I believe him when he says that the recording sounds like crap. Once he know it wasn't all analog, he probably got all jittery and sweaty again when listening to it.

For audiophiles it's all about the magical act of listening to music and enjoying it, not about listening to magical music and enjoying it. Actually that's very very sad.

This post has been edited by Fandango: Apr 18 2009, 17:53
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chelgrian
post Apr 18 2009, 17:48
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 18 2009, 16:39) *
B0RK, you continue to step around my question regarding blind ABX testing (which Frumious B asked again). What is so wrong/incorrect/punishable by death when someone listens to lossy music on an iPod knowing that they cannot properly ABX the differences between that lossy music and the source lossy files?


Or indeed listen to lossy music on an iPhone that you know full well you can ABX...but only on headphones that you couldn't possibly carry around with you.

Or indeed trading quality for space so you can get your entire collection on an iPhone (I'm currently listening to organ music compressed at 96Kbit/s AAC as if I'd encoded everything at 128Kbit/s it wouldn't fit...

Someone should take these people from Stereophile round the recording studios that their music came from, even the highest end places don't engage in the kind of silliness that the audiofools do.
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Fandango
post Apr 18 2009, 17:50
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QUOTE (chelgrian @ Apr 18 2009, 18:48) *
Someone should take these people from Stereophile round the recording studios that their music came from, even the highest end places don't engage in the kind of silliness that the audiofools do.

Do they actually care what happens outside of their music rooms?
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kornchild2002
post Apr 18 2009, 19:07
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QUOTE (Fandango @ Apr 18 2009, 09:43) *
Isn't this the center around which the so-called audiophiles rotate? They want to know such details


Yes. Many self-proclaimed audiophiles want to know all the information regarding the source music (CD, vinyl, tape, etc.), how it was recorded, and everything about what equipment is being used to play it back. Their perception will change based on what information they know. Blind testing "exposes" these type of audiophiles (audiophools) as everyday people especially when they fail blind tests between high end cables and coat hangers, digitally recorded audio and analog recordings, lossless "high resolution" content and lossy files, etc.

It is apparent that Fremer wants to know what happens before the content is sent his way but only for the sake of boosting his ego. I am sure that many other audiophools are like this as they want to come off like they know what they are talking about.
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Ron Jones
post Apr 18 2009, 20:17
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 21:15) *
You'd know how hard it can be to squeeze the tracks in the mix , & you'd know that getting a 16 bit 2 track to shine as it did with the full hi res track count played in the studio is no small feat by any mastering guru's standards.

I'm not sure I'd really agree with this, to be honest. The mix itself is the complicated bit: getting each track, each instrument, to slide into its own little "spot" in the mix -- ensuring no individual track is easily buried by another. If a mix engineer is working with, say, a 16 track session, he's going to be predominantly monitoring the master buss during mixdown, so he's hearing mostly only the stereo mix. Trying to mix by soloing tracks is, well, pretty tough. So, the engineer's monitoring what is essentially a raw version of what's going to the CD. Once a mix is complete, it's passed off to a mastering engineer for slight tonal refinements and, typically, a whole boatload of compression.

With the right sample rate conversion and appropriate dither, that "raw" mix is completely CD-ready. The mastering process is, especially today, a particularly desirable process to put your mixes through, but certainly not required to produce duplication-ready discs. You can bypass that stage if desired, and the final CD may not necessarily be worse for the wear. The CD itself, and its limitations on paper, certainly isn't the real limiting factor.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 21:15) *
So after all that effort, having companies & people implying that even the (Downscaled CD) is not a mandatory experience cause it's "indistinguishable" & they can prove (lol) they cannot hear the differnece by failing their foobar ABX tests , & make people pay for lossy music claiming that is the product , is just outrageous really.

I think you've gotten us, and record companies in general, quite a bit wrong. Few of us desire for lossy to be "it" as far as consumer options go. Personally, I want everything: I want people to be able to buy CDs, vinyl records, 1/2" reels, MP3s, 24/96 FLAC...everything. Any format anyone could ever want or desire. If I ran a label, you'd better believe I'd put out vinyl albums in addition to CDs and digital downloads. I like vinyl, and it's certainly a different experience than listening to a CD even if it doesn't necessarily sound any differently.

Labels are still pumping out CDs and vinyl by the truckload. A few are getting into the so-called "HD" movement as well, and I for one think that's fantastic. I'll buy that stuff if it's relatively affordable even knowing full well I haven't ever been able to discern anything extra out of it. I'm by no means on the side of "I have the MP3 of it so I'm done", but I am on the side that, for most of the music-listening public, a well-encoded MP3 offers more fidelity than strictly necessary.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 21:15) *
& pointing un/ (& sometimes over) educated fingers at analog purists like Fremer.

I think some of us likely point fingers because the data out there suggests that the common, ordinary compact disc is as pure if not more pure than the vinyl record. Ergo, his analog-centric pursuit is neither purity nor fidelity but instead a specific coloration he finds more pleasing. His job is, in a nutshell, to take his sighted observations and his biased opinions and review products almost entirely on them under the guise that his reviews are in some way objective: that this product he's reviewing is truly better than a similar product he reviewed before.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 21:15) *
I am just trying to make a case for why he is a purist. & How being as close (or even surpassing the experience in a way) to the recorded event and product should be admired & desired by all music lovers

I understand entirely where you're coming from, but, from my perspective, using a record player as a playback source isn't how one achieves the greatest possible fidelity. As such, what he's doing is admiring something that isn't what we call fidelity and resolution but instead admiring noise and distortion. If that's the way he likes his music, I have absolutely no issue with that, but his pursuits are misguided if he believes he's achieving purity by entirely shunning digital. His disgust for digital is patently ridiculous.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 17 2009, 21:15) *
As for me, & I think I am not totally alone on this, I cannot help but admire the man for perfecting a purist Analog playback system like his nowadays. sometimes I wish I would see half that devotion to sonics from the studios.

I think that, for the most part, making studios "audiophile grade" is unnecessary. If the money's readily available, well, okay, but that's rarely going to be the case, especially in these times. Would doing so lead to perceptibly better recordings and better mixes? To be entirely honest, I'm not so sure.

This post has been edited by Ron Jones: Apr 18 2009, 20:19
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Linux Zealot Tro...
post Apr 18 2009, 22:29
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 16 2009, 18:04) *
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.


Well, maybe not that high a percentage. Assuming a global population of 6 billion, if it were Framer vs the rest of the world it would be 99.9999999999% of the rest of us smile.gif

Sadly I suspect the percentage to be substantially less ...
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 18 2009, 23:42
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QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 18 2009, 12:13) *
QUOTE (ShowsOn @ Apr 18 2009, 07:40) *
QUOTE (2tec @ Apr 16 2009, 22:55) *
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.

Fremer is the guy who wrote a glowing review about a recent vinyl reissue of The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, but then a few days later was informed that it was cut from a digital tape, and thus surreptitiously took down his old review, and replaced it with one complaining that the album sounds too digital.

This is exactly what I expect from people who push nonsense as if it is an ideological agenda. The less said about him the better.


Wow! I didn't hear this story. Have a link?


I did a little searching around and found what appears to be two different versions of the same article with two different endings:

http://forum.rollingstone.de/showthread.php?t=33778

Post by "atom" dated 09.10.2008, 08:58

This appears to be the *origional* ending of the review:

"Switching to the DCC Compact Classic Edition, you get a superb combination of clarity, spectacular detail, a big sonic space, great reverb “hang time,” depth, visceral instrumental textures and depth-charge bass that’s not overdone and extremely well-controlled but perhaps a bit rounder and fuller than Wilson originally intended but that’s pure speculation.

"So while I’d bet Capitol’s new LP issue was sourced from digital, it does sound very good and better than the CD version. Perhaps it was sourced from high resolution digital or perhaps the LP cutting process adds just the right amount of “coloration” to make it sound richer, fuller and more sonically satisfying.

"If it was cut from digital do I wish it had been cut from analog? Of course. If it was cut from analog and I’m just wanking, well, if I find that out after the fact, I’ll let you know! So since the DCC Compact Classic version is OOP and probably expensive if you can locate a copy and since the Carl and the Passions—So Tough/Pet Sounds twofer and the WB single edition from 1972 is rare, this new Capitol issue is a good choice, particularly since the 180 gram pressing is absolutely perfect. My copy was dead quiet, flat perfection. My source at Capitol says Rainbo in L.A. pressed it. I hope all of their current 180 gram output is this good!

The revised ending is here:

http://www.musicangle.com/album.php?id=703

Review dated: 2009-04-01

"Switching to the DCC Compact Classic Edition, you get a superb combination of clarity, spectacular detail, a big sonic space, great reverb 'hang time,' depth, visceral instrumental textures and depth-charge bass that's not overdone and extremely well-controlled but perhaps a bit rounder and fuller than Wilson originally intended but that's pure speculation.

"So while I'd bet Capitol's new LP issue was sourced from digital, it does sound very good and better than the CD version. Perhaps it was sourced from high resolution digital or perhaps the LP cutting process adds just the right amount of 'coloration' to make it sound richer, fuller and more sonically satisfying, which it is. Still, it's a pale, thin and flat edition compared to the ones that are definitely analog.

"If it was cut from digital do I wish it had been cut from analog? Of course. If it was cut from analog and I'm just wanking, well, if I find that out after the fact, I'll let you know! So since the DCC Compact Classic version is OOP and probably expensive if you can locate a copy and since the Carl and the Passions—So Tough/Pet Sounds twofer and the WB single edition from 1972 is rare, this new Capitol issue is a good choice, particularly since the 180 gram pressing is absolutely perfect. My copy was dead quiet, flat perfection. My source at Capitol says Rainbo in L.A. pressed it. I hope all of their current 180 gram output is this good in terms of pressing quality.

"I just wish Capitol had used an analog master tape because this "clean, pristine" reissue will most likely bore the shit out of you the way CDs usually do.

"Yes, it's better sounding than the CD version but it shares all of CD's worst qualities: flat, dimensionless, tinny, textureless and emotionally stunted.

"Anyone who's bought this and thinks it sounds good can only think so because they haven't heard one of the good reissues.

"Capitol had an opportunity to produce sonic greatness and instead insults one of Brian Wilson's greatest recordings.



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B0RK
post Apr 19 2009, 01:41
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QUOTE
(kornchild2002 @ Apr 18 2009, 10:39)
B0RK, you continue to step around my question regarding blind ABX testing (which Frumious B asked again). What is so wrong/incorrect/punishable by death when someone listens to lossy music on an iPod knowing that they cannot properly ABX the differences between that lossy music and the source lossy files?


What's wrong with it is that I truly find it hard to believe they know what they CAN abx or not at all,
& definitely do not understand that they can get Better at it.

To truly ABX something, anything, in my experience anyway, you'll have to experience it for quite a lengthier time , then these tests usually allow for.
I have been in, & conducted many real life AB tests.
I have even been exposed to & worked with the common standard here, the Foobar ABX,(in the LossyWav development thread if you are interested ).

So to give an analogy to the process, it's like when sometimes you have to walk with a pair of shoes for a while,
before you know that they're not as good for your intended use as you might have hoped for.

Then ,you try to use that experience on your next shoe purchase,
realizing that the next time you are truly testing cowboy boots ,
you'd better make sure you have a horse & a ranch around,
cause cruising the hood just won't give you quite the input you're looking for...


QUOTE
(kornchild2002 @ Apr 18 2009, 10:39)
You really aren't getting your point across. Are people who listen to lossy music through an iPod uneducated?


Maybe you're right, maybe I am not getting it across as well as I thought I did ...
I am trying, & Id be the first to say that nothing is in pure Black & White.
Not even ABX tests.

What I am saying is, it's GREAT if you love & enjoy your lossy music on your portable !.
(& please Do tell me ,after some serious thought about it, if you find any sense in what I explain)

It sad , if you know nothing else , or even the source product, on a deeper level.

but it Really stinks, when based on practically zero experience with analog gear (This in itself is not an accusation as it's not that accessible nowadays),
& more then likely zero experience with any High end gear at all, you still keep hearing the same Anti-Audiophile BS again & again.

No, they do not have a problem with wine taster's getting paid to sniff around worse then an Ex Hollywood Lifestyle bygone, with his powdery habits still intact ,as that's a real profession, that demands expertise.

Even Diamond Studded luxury water bottles don't rattle their cage too much.

Its Audiophiles, that they have some 'Real' Hard 'No ABX proof' evidence against ..

You see ,the Truth of the matter is ,that people with experience ,
will never make such comments. They remember (sometimes painfully I must say) that some audio systems, can truly change your whole view of things around, & many of those who heard a superb analog setup , will just do their best to forget it if they cannot afford it.

So, when this anti audiophile BS is being expressed by a .. you guessed it, a Lame version Comparing iPod waving Troll, most of us who know how far he is from knowing the half of it, as we know what the damn truth is :

That we'd trade our iPods (or a tiny bit more ..) for Fremer's system anytime.

So we sit on the fence, & say nothing you see, & we have our reasons ....
& who is We exactly ??
Anyone that's been through it, & would like to keep minding his own business & see how it plays out.

Its engineers (were working on a new portable ..hmm)
pro musicians (now that I'm on Itunes , I think I am gonna zip it)
Recording Technicians (If Ill defend it I am facing yet another ABX test ..I think NOT),
audio industry guys (we Finally HAVE a Profitable MODEL - no way I am talking now)
Audio programmers (Well I am working in an audio compression startup),
& your neighbourly plastic surgeon (Hehehe, you're just jealous you can't afford it, Loser)

You can find some of them right here in HA.
We live off it one way or another, so Fence it is for us.

Some though, are not just sitting on the fence with it, they are taking notes.

While watching the kids play ,some douchebag marketing guy, comes out with an idea ..
If the kids like their lossy audio that much , let's gift wrap it & sell it to them.

Another guy thinks: "Hell man , these kids will never buy these damn nice speakers, just for playing these mp3s , they just don't know any better.. "
calls China & changes his order to Earbuds, the same factory make the headphones as well you see.

I can go on & on ,but I won't, If these words are not enough to get the point across, consider thes quick facts:

The STANDARD - is always the IN DEMAND PRODUCT.
The In Demand product quickly gets competitive.
When the standard lowers, anything above it becomes Luxury.
When that happens, eventually, that means a bigger hole in your pocket ,for the same or lower quality.

Now I Hear you ask : "Well surely at least in the Audio Societies, Someone Must have made Some Effort to keep the Audio Standard High right ??"

well I think You can still find some of them under the pile of portables they were stoned with.
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Frumious B
post Apr 19 2009, 04:05
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 20:41) *
That we'd trade our iPods (or a tiny bit more ..) for Fremer's system anytime



I actually would trade my iPod for Fremer's system, but it would just be so that I could pull it apart and sell it off bit by bit. I am skeptical of the $350,000 figure, but I might be able to pocket enough from the sale to pay off my mortgage, throw some money into my savings and buy another iPod.


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pdq
post Apr 19 2009, 04:55
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 20:41) *
To truly ABX something, anything, in my experience anyway, you'll have to experience it for quite a lengthier time , then these tests usually allow for.

It truly amazes me every time someone is unable to back up his/her statments by ABX testing, the excuses they give for why it is the fault of ABX testing and not any kind of disproof of their position.

In case you hadn't heard, there is no time limit in ABX testing. Sometimes people take several days when it is particularly difficult to ABX something.
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ShowsOn
post Apr 19 2009, 04:58
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QUOTE (Frumious B @ Apr 19 2009, 01:22) *
What I find ridiculous about this article is the continued and elitist notion that those of us who prefer digital, even in compressed formats, are somehow sacrificing quality on the altar of convenience.

Yes, the entire article is an elaborate 'argument from personal incredulity'. He is effectively saying "I don't believe that any lossy audio file can ever be transparent from its source, therefore no lossy audio file is transparent from its source." There is no evidence, or reasoning to be seen, he has just assumed a belief and 'backed it up' by saying that that is his belief! It really is that vacuous when you get down to it.

This is a classic example of the nonsense perpetuated by parts of the audiophile community, they start from the belief that humans have PERFECT hearing in every regard, which forces them to disregard psycho-acoustics as an entire discipline.
QUOTE (Frumious B @ Apr 19 2009, 01:22) *
If anything I would argue that I have made vast improvements in my ability to access and enjoy my music while giving up nothing.

See you were willing to put yourself on the line and actually test the quality of your hearing, and the quality of state of the art lossy encoders.

The "it can't be so, therefore it isn't so" crowd simply don't want to challenge the inflated estimation of their own perceptual capabilities.

It isn't just me who claims this, look at what the founder of Stereophile said in 2007 when reflecting on the 45th anniversary of the publication he started but had retired the editorship of in 1986:
QUOTE
...high-end audio lost its credibility during the 1980s, when it flatly refused to submit to the kind of basic honesty controls (double-blind testing, for example) that had legitimized every other serious scientific endeavor since Pascal. [This refusal] is a source of endless derisive amusement among rational people and of perpetual embarrassment for me...

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/1107awsi/


--------------------
www.petitiononline.com/RHCPWBCD/petition.html
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krabapple
post Apr 19 2009, 06:07
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 01:15) *
This is where we are at now ..:
Every time the word Audiophile is being thrown anywhere nowadays,
you get a bunch of Trolls, waving their Ipods in fury, taking a break from doing spectrals of their transcodes,
& pointing un/ (& sometimes over) educated fingers at analog purists like Fremer.


That's not where we are now. Only the clueless would use a 'spectral' of a lossy transcode to prove that mp3s sound fine. The whole goal of perceptual encodes is to make the measurable differences --including 'spectrals' -- between the source and the encode audibly irrelevant.

On the contrary, I've only ever seen anyone point to spectral evidence when they were cluelessly trying to prove why mp3 *can't* sound as good as source.

QUOTE
I am just trying to make a case for why he is a purist.

& How being as close (or even surpassing the experience in a way) to the recorded event and product should be admired & desired by all music lovers, without looking at it only through my angle.


His purism is more akin to fundamentalism. Fremer's dogmatic and technically dubious stance on the means by which this experience can and cannot be achieved, makes him a ranting, pretentious audiophool.

He claims it simply can't be achieved by listening to mp3s,...and if you disagree, you can't be a 'real' audiophile.

So fuck 'im. I've seen no evidence that he has undergone training to hear mp3 artifacts particularly. So chances are good that he could not tell a good mp3 from source in a well-controlled listening comparison, even though he writes as if it would be child's play.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Apr 19 2009, 06:26
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B0RK
post Apr 19 2009, 06:22
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QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 18 2009, 21:55) *
It truly amazes me every time someone is unable to back up his/her statments by ABX testing, the excuses they give for why it is the fault of ABX testing and not any kind of disproof of their position.


I was not discrediting it as another tool to hear differences ,
I WAS discrediting it in regards to many people using it as a way to prove to themselves they cannot hear the any difference, & once they have done that , they take That as the complete & utter truth & act accordingly.

Vice versa applies as well.

QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 18 2009, 21:55) *
In case you hadn't heard, there is no time limit in ABX testing. Sometimes people take several days when it is particularly difficult to ABX something.


No ,you cannot do it for for several days , O-K ? ....
What you CAN do is do many testing sessions.

& they need to be spread over time to keep the results reliable.
That's the nature of these tests , nothing you can do about it.

But We are not talking about me now are we ?
Cause if you are , you could easily have had a taste of my ABXing in the LossyWav thread.
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kornchild2002
post Apr 19 2009, 06:36
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
What's wrong with it is that I truly find it hard to believe they know what they CAN abx or not at all,
& definitely do not understand that they can get Better at it.


It is true that people can train themselves to audibly identify encoding artifacts. These people often train themselves for a long period of time with songs they are very familiar with. However, these same people also admit that it is extremely difficult to spot encoding artifacts when casually listening to music. Most people don't want to train themselves to hear encoding artifacts. They would rather conduct a few ABX tests and enjoy their music instead of spending months trying to pick out flaws that they may never hear. They stop enjoying the music and start scrutinizing every little aspect. I will again ask this question: what is so wrong with this?

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
To truly ABX something, anything, in my experience anyway, you'll have to experience it for quite a lengthier time , then these tests usually allow for.
I have been in, & conducted many real life AB tests.
I have even been exposed to & worked with the common standard here, the Foobar ABX,(in the LossyWav development thread if you are interested ).


Nonsense. I have seen people ABX tracks that they are very unfamiliar with. /mnt will often post samples in which Lame struggles even at 320kbps CBR. He will use metal, industrial, industrial metal, etc. samples. People will conduct blind ABX tests with these samples even though they have never previously heard the song. They can still pick out encoding artifacts.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
So to give an analogy to the process, it's like when sometimes you have to walk with a pair of shoes for a while,
before you know that they're not as good for your intended use as you might have hoped for.


Shoes != Audio

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
What I am saying is, it's GREAT if you love & enjoy your lossy music on your portable !.
(& please Do tell me ,after some serious thought about it, if you find any sense in what I explain)

It sad , if you know nothing else , or even the source product, on a deeper level.


You still haven't explained what is so wrong with knowing nothing but the lossy versions of songs. What are people missing out on if they can't properly hear the differences between the lossy versions and lossless versions? Seriously, what are they missing out on? You keep saying that it is sad and you keep frowning upon lossy encoding (at least anything that isn't lossywav) yet you haven't provided any blind ABX tests to backup your claims and your arguments don't make any sense.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
...you still keep hearing the same Anti-Audiophile BS again & again.


No, you hear anti audiophool statements over and over again. These statements are not BS either. You should try reading them instead of just falling in line while the audiphools preach their false prophecy.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
No, they do not have a problem with wine taster's getting paid to sniff around worse then an Ex Hollywood Lifestyle bygone, with his powdery habits still intact ,as that's a real profession, that demands expertise.

Even Diamond Studded luxury water bottles don't rattle their cage too much.

Its Audiophiles, that they have some 'Real' Hard 'No ABX proof' evidence against ..


Hell, why stop there? You are complaining about people getting annoyed by these audiophools yet you are using the same amount of energy trying to shoot down facts and claims. Why not put your energy towards solving world hunger, formulating means to deliver clean water to people while decreasing costs and using less energy (this is what I do for a living), solve the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and so on? We are not here to discuss issues facing the world today. hydrogenaudio != solve the world's problems. It is simply a place where people can gather, try to help each other out, and give insight into the world of audio.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
So, when this anti audiophile BS is being expressed by a .. you guessed it, a Lame version Comparing iPod waving Troll, most of us who know how far he is from knowing the half of it, as we know what the damn truth is :

That we'd trade our iPods (or a tiny bit more ..) for Fremer's system anytime.


Sure, I would gladly give up my 120GB iPod classic for Fremer's sytem. I would then tear it apart and sell it peace by peace to idiots thinking that they need such outrageous equipment. I would use the money to pay off my college loans, pay off my house, give a little money back to my Mom since she paid my expenses while I was in college, buy a new iPod, buy a new computer, and then save the rest (which would come out to about $100k). Your "Lame" pun wasn't needed either. Still waiting for those blind ABX tests...

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
While watching the kids play ,some douchebag marketing guy, comes out with an idea ..
If the kids like their lossy audio that much , let's gift wrap it & sell it to them.


Yeah, that guy really is a "douchebag." What a-hole would come along and revolutionize the music industry as we know it? That dumbass allowed for thousands of bands to get their music out in multiple forms, what an ass! How dare he come up with an idea to help musicians and change music as we know it!

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
Another guy thinks: "Hell man , these kids will never buy these damn nice speakers, just for playing these mp3s , they just don't know any better.. "
calls China & changes his order to Earbuds, the same factory make the headphones as well you see.


I didn't realize that you actually worked for Apple, Microsoft, SanDisk, Creative, Archos, and all those other companies offering DAPs. Thank you for your insightful knowledge that wasn't backed up by anything other than your opinions.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 18:41) *
well I think You can still find some of them under the pile of portables they were stoned with.


Again, what is so wrong with portable players? I feel like a broken record here (oh, I must be teh ultraz clearest soundings!). You weave around the questions and topics being brought up here only to spew testimony given to you by some audiophools (please go back and read what the differences are between audiophiles and audiophools). I am done with this topic. I have stated my opinion and tried to give you information regarding what your misconceptions are. I have asked for further explanation and have received very little of it. Others and I have asked for proof backing up your claims yet we haven't seen it. Feel free to think what you want. Just to go around preaching it here on hydrogenaudio and audiophool testimony has no place here. Please don't take my posts as me being negative either. Just stating my opinion and facts regarding lossy audio encoding.
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krabapple
post Apr 19 2009, 06:42
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 19 2009, 01:22) *
But We are not talking about me now are we ?
Cause if you are , you could easily have had a taste of my ABXing in the LossyWav thread.


yeah, I see where you say you don't believe a 14/20 ABX run can be due to luck.

14/20 (p=.058) doesn't even break the 'standard' p<.05 threshold for a Type I error, much less an arguably more appropriate p<0.01 threshold.

Regardless of what you believe, a marginal run like that virtually begs for a re-test to see if indeed it WAS just luck.

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hybris
post Apr 19 2009, 10:10
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QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 23:45) *
I think that us ABXers and skeptics are also arguing fallaciously when we decry all high end audio as placebo, and/or highly corrupted by observer bias due to price/shiny knobs/etc. I think audiophiles can toss those sorts of things aside rather easily and it makes us look bad. Really, we don't have a very good scientific understanding of how sighted testing actually works. If we did, we could predict it. And we can't! We can make educated guesses, based on all sorts of sighted factors like cost etc, but nobody's actually argued these correlations with any degree of accuracy whatsoever. The guesses are plausible to us but laughably hypothetical to others.


If you look at the Harman listening test quoted elsewhere on this forum, there's a graph displaying the differences in loudspeaker grading in a sighted vs blind listening test. They showed mostly the same general rating (the same speakers where the best, I think with one exception) - but in the sighted test the listeners rated the loudspeakers much higher. So there you have it, the guy who're embracing the fact that he is listening to "high end" components actually enjoy higher quality audio (imagined or not). I think the most dedicated sceptics on this forum (and I know they'll disagree) that scoff at anything resembling high end (as all correctly designed [insert audio component] sound the same anyway) are missing out on some of the listening experience.

I consider myself a sceptic, I know I can't really tell the difference between 192kbps MP3 and FLAC, or between two loudspeaker cables. Still, I know I enjoy music more on a high end system.

Is this actually negative, as "other people" have the same enjoyment on a low end system? or have I possibly added something(percieved audio quality, pride in ownership, appreciation of high quality craftmanship, etc) to the experience that the regular listener don't have? Music is all about feelings and emotions, and the hobby of being an audiophile is too.

It's like enjoying cognac from an expensive, carefully crafted glass sitting in a large leather chair. Does it make the cognac taste better? Maybe a little bit. Does it add something to the total experience? Most certainly. smile.gif

EDIT: To clarify - I don't think it's anything wrong with enjoying music on a lower end system, just wanted to state that high end equipment isn't necessarily totally pointless (and I'm not talking 350,000 dollar stuff) - it will actually add something to the experience

This post has been edited by hybris: Apr 19 2009, 10:38


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cpchan
post Apr 19 2009, 12:01
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QUOTE (hybris @ Apr 19 2009, 04:10) *
Is this actually negative, as "other people" have the same enjoyment on a low end system? or have I possibly added something(percieved audio quality, pride in ownership, appreciation of high quality craftmanship, etc) to the experience that the regular listener don't have? Music is all about feelings and emotions, and the hobby of being an audiophile is too.

It's like enjoying cognac from an expensive, carefully crafted glass sitting in a large leather chair. Does it make the cognac taste better? Maybe a little bit. Does it add something to the total experience? Most certainly. smile.gif


In a previous career path, I managed fine dining rooms (originally Swiss trained) and I am well aware that presentation and price affects the total experience, However, even in the ex-industry that I was in, we are well aware that blind testing is the only way to assess the true quality of food and drinks.

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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 19 2009, 12:21
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 18 2009, 20:41) *
To truly ABX something, anything, in my experience anyway, you'll have to experience it for quite a lengthier time , then these tests usually allow for.


Straw man, because none of these people are walking cold into the ABX tests.

As a rule, everybody has experienced the thing being tested for a far lengthier time , thea just what these tests usually allow for.

You're basically asking us to believe people are doing ABX tests of MP3s, having never heard a MP3 in their life.

Yup, a big straw man. :-(

QUOTE
I have even been exposed to & worked with the common standard here, the Foobar ABX,(in the LossyWav development thread if you are interested ).


So, are you saying that you did your Foobar tests having never listened to a MP3 in your life? Can't be true!

QUOTE
I am trying, & I'd be the first to say that nothing is in pure Black & White.


You're not the first to say that nothing is black and white, you're the last. If you think your are first, your ego is way ahead of your intellect.

QUOTE
What I am saying is, it's GREAT if you love & enjoy your lossy music on your portable !.


Dismissive attitude noted. :-(

QUOTE
It sad , if you know nothing else , or even the source product, on a deeper level.


Do you seriously think that people are comparing MP3s to MP3's? That's what you just said. You said that we know nothing of the source product. Boy, do you have your head tucked where the sun shines not!

Just for the record, people are compaing MP3s to .wav files much of the time. That's the source product, right? Where do you get these wild ideas from? Your buddy Fremer?

QUOTE
& more then likely zero experience with any High end gear at all,


Dismissive attitude noted, for the zillionth time.

Do you seriously think that none of us ever listen to high end gear? I';ve been listening to various people's high end gear for decades. I might even have had a little of it myself.

What you don't seem to realize that some of us were held hostige in an analog-only world for many decades of painful love of music. Painful, because all we had to listen to was analog. I had to wait until I was in my l mid-20s berfore there was any good SS to buy. I had to wait until I was in my late 30s before there was any digital to buy. So, I spent about 25 years in a pure analog world. I had nothing but vinyl and tubes to listen to for all of that time. Not good. Not fun.

QUOTE
you still keep hearing the same Anti-Audiophile BS again & again.


It's not anti=audiophile BS that is going on here at HA. What's going on is anti-BS, pro-science, pro honest experiences and fair evaluations.

QUOTE
You see , the Truth of the matter is ,that people with experience , will never make such comments. They remember (sometimes painfully I must say) that some audio systems, can truly change your whole view of things around, & many of those who heard a superb analog setup , will just do their best to forget it if they cannot afford it.


You don't know how many times people have tried to spring that BS on me.

You don't get it. People like myself and my good friend Tom Nousaine (and a lot of HA-ers) can spend days at these high end exibitions like the CES and HE200n, and come away with a bad taste in our mouth. We can come away with a profound desire to get back home and listen to our home systems because our home systems sound better. We moved past the water-filled interconnects the size of garden hoses. We've moved past the magic capacitors and glowing bottles. We've been cured of anti-digital hysteria. We've leaned how to do good listening tests.

QUOTE
So, when this anti audiophile BS is being expressed by a .. you guessed it, a Lame version Comparing iPod waving Troll, most of us who know how far he is from knowing the half of it, as we know what the damn truth is :


Except you obvioiusly don't know the truth. As digital playback devices go, there's nothing wrong with an iPod or somthing like it playing uncompressed or losslessly compressed .wav files. Now the ear buds that come with the iPod are another story but that is easy enough to fix, even though you might feel a little strange paying as much for the earphones as the iPod. As far as lossy-compression goes, get the bitrates up, use a good encoder, and there is no problem.

There's a reason why high enders are so hysterical with their flames at lossy files - that lossy compression works at all shows that they've been spouting BS for decades. They've been saying that good digital recordings don't have enough information in them, and lossy compression shows that you can take 1/2, 3/4, maybe 7/8 or more of the information out of a .wav file and the ear is totally fooled.

QUOTE
That we'd trade our iPods (or a tiny bit more ..) for Fremer's system anytime.


Not at all. I can pack a good portable music player and some nice earphones out into the woods and sit on a backwoods hillside overlooking a pristene lake that I just paddled across and ate some fish out of and have my good tunes, all at the same time. Fremer's sytem is about 99.9% BS, cost-wise. Rememer that for 0.1% of $350,000 you can buy some good headphones and a good digital music player and have sound that is no worse, and probably even better than Fremer's system because you've taken the tubes and vinyl out of the equation.

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hybris
post Apr 19 2009, 12:43
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QUOTE (cpchan @ Apr 19 2009, 12:01) *
QUOTE (hybris @ Apr 19 2009, 04:10) *

It's like enjoying cognac from an expensive, carefully crafted glass sitting in a large leather chair. Does it make the cognac taste better? Maybe a little bit. Does it add something to the total experience? Most certainly. smile.gif


In a previous career path, I managed fine dining rooms (originally Swiss trained) and I am well aware that presentation and price affects the total experience, However, even in the ex-industry that I was in, we are well aware that blind testing is the only way to assess the true quality of food and drinks.


I agree. But my point was that I would like to enjoy the entire experience. Eating great food blindfolded in a basement isn't as much fun as in a fine dining room. And at least for me the main part of this hobby is actually listening to and enjoying music, not assessing differences between components. smile.gif


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pdq
post Apr 19 2009, 13:15
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QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 19 2009, 01:22) *
QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 18 2009, 21:55) *
It truly amazes me every time someone is unable to back up his/her statments by ABX testing, the excuses they give for why it is the fault of ABX testing and not any kind of disproof of their position.


I was not discrediting it as another tool to hear differences ,
I WAS discrediting it in regards to many people using it as a way to prove to themselves they cannot hear the any difference, & once they have done that , they take That as the complete & utter truth & act accordingly.

Vice versa applies as well.

I would hope that nobody is using this tool as you suggest, to convice anyone that there is no audible difference. On the contrary, the function of this tool is to apply standardized testing when one is convinced that one can hear a difference. The results of ABX testing are then used to show either that there is a high probability that that person is able to hear that difference, or else that there is insufficient evidence that the difference can be heard. These results apply to that one person with that particular material at that particular time, nothing more.

Your implication that ABX testing is being misused in the way that you suggest here at HA is quite absurd. On the other hand, the more people that claim to hear a difference, then fail to prove it by ABX testing, the greater the evidence that the difference is not audible to nearly as many people as had been claimed. In particular, the claim that a difference is so obvious that anybody with half-decent hearing could hear it, then the person making the claim is themselves not able to hear it as they thought, happens so often here that it has become the generally expected outcome.

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cpchan
post Apr 19 2009, 13:20
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QUOTE (hybris @ Apr 19 2009, 06:43) *
Eating great food blindfolded in a basement isn't as much fun as in a fine dining room. And at least for me the main part of this hobby is actually listening to and enjoying music, not assessing differences between components. smile.gif


True. However, style and quality should go hand in hand. Bar brandy poured from a Louis XIII decanter into a lead crystal sniffer is still bar brandy. wink.gif

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Frumious B
post Apr 19 2009, 14:10
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 19 2009, 07:21) *
Fremer's sytem is about 99.9% BS, cost-wise. Rememer that for 0.1% of $350,000 you can buy some good headphones and a good digital music player and have sound that is no worse, and probably even better than Fremer's system because you've taken the tubes and vinyl out of the equation.


Fremer's system just seems so woefully inefficient to me. I bet the thing has to be warmed up for 45 minutes before you can even listen to a scrap of music. Then you have to get up every fifteen to twenty-five minutes to change the record and you're also limited to listening to one album by one artist at a time. Of course this is coming from a guy whose relationship with vinyl is roughly equivalent to his relationship with Edison cylinders.

When I started out buying music in the early eighties I was buying cassette tapes and then moved on to CDs around 1987. I got into mp3 around 2004, but did a crap job of ripping my music to 128kbps because I didn't know any better. I loved the ease of the technology, but I also lamented the thought that I was cheating myself in my listening. I only just got around to rectifying that, hopefully, once and for all. There would have been some truth to the point of view that I was trading convenience for quality six months ago, but not today.

It wasn't as bad as I feared because I figured out that mp3 actually hits transparency around 160kbps for me in the overwhelming majority of cases. I did the whole shebang to lossless and then converted to Nero AAC. I've lived with the AAC files for a couple of weeks now and I must say that I am uniformly thrilled with the results and my whole library still fits on an iPod 120GB with about 8GB to spare. All this activity on my part is a direct result of knowledge I've gained by lurking on this forum and then registering to ask a few questions.

You can learn way more here than sitting at the feet on some supposed audio guru like Fremer or in some audiophile hellhole like the Hoffman forum. For the way that I and a lot of people live a dedicated listening space where one can lock the door and spend hours and hours isn't an option because we have lives and stuff to do. Fremer's system wouldn't be a good fit for us even if we had the money to burn. It's far better to take the thing that you know is the best fit and make it as good as you can possibly make it instead of trying to shoehorn yourself into something that doesn't really suit you out some misplaced sense of rightness that might not even be rooted in anything factual anyway.

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hybris
post Apr 19 2009, 18:55
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QUOTE (cpchan @ Apr 19 2009, 13:20) *
QUOTE (hybris @ Apr 19 2009, 06:43) *
Eating great food blindfolded in a basement isn't as much fun as in a fine dining room. And at least for me the main part of this hobby is actually listening to and enjoying music, not assessing differences between components. smile.gif


True. However, style and quality should go hand in hand. Bar brandy poured from a Louis XIII decanter into a lead crystal sniffer is still bar brandy. wink.gif


I completely agree. smile.gif


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