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TAS at it again: bit-identical sources sound different. They just do.
john33
post Jan 2 2012, 20:26
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While I am all in favour of freedom of speech, expression of opinions, etc., the problem is that many less well informed readers will grasp these spurious ideas and propogate them to other less well informed persons.

The reason I love HA is that we debunk these ludicrous ideas and will not tolerate so-called experts propounding totally unsustainable claims. IMHO, allowing these kinds of arguments to run is completely counter productive.


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ramicio
post Jan 2 2012, 20:37
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These people who keep pushing this ultra expensive garbage will continually prey on people who don't understand that in this day and age, DACs will internally condition and re-clock the signal, so jitter in a cable or ANYWHERE before a DAC won't make ANY difference, not even measurable. I don't get how they think jitter can be stored on a hard drive. People need to learn to read some semiconductor datasheets.
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Kujibo
post Jan 2 2012, 22:55
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QUOTE (smok3 @ Jan 2 2012, 02:10) *
seriously: If bashing this kind of "tests" is the only thing that keeps hydrogenaudio still kicking, it is well worth it.
p.s. gotta find those golden cables now (left them on the roof freezing over night, so they will forget the music i was listening yesterday, hello!)


I have to admit, the noble half of me enjoys coming to HA to keep abreast of the latest developments in digital audio, but the perverse half of me keeps me coming back for stuff like this even more.
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.halverhahn
post Jan 2 2012, 22:58
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Come on, please be serious. Audiodata is a magic type of data, it is allways different even if it's the same. wink.gif


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andy o
post Jan 3 2012, 01:23
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QUANTUM!

I win.
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JimH
post Jan 3 2012, 01:58
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QUOTE (Kujibo @ Jan 2 2012, 15:55) *
I have to admit, the noble half of me enjoys coming to HA to keep abreast of the latest developments in digital audio, but the perverse half of me keeps me coming back for stuff like this even more.

Ever read "The Shipping News"? It's about a fictional story about a small newspaper in Nova Scotia. They found their sales were heavily dependant on stories about ship wrecks and car wrecks. People are always interested in other people's accidents.
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greynol
post Jan 3 2012, 02:58
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...if we could only dismiss this thing as an accident.


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Porcus
post Jan 3 2012, 15:11
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QUOTE (john33 @ Jan 2 2012, 13:45) *
bit-identical audio files, played on the same equipment


Well, remember that here it is not all the same equipment. CD player, memory stick, hard drive. Although I am not going to buy the magazine in order to check whether there is any mention of putting the darn computer away in a noise-insulated box rolleyes.gif


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pdq
post Jan 3 2012, 15:16
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Jan 3 2012, 10:11) *
Well, remember that here it is not all the same equipment. CD player, memory stick, hard drive. Although I am not going to buy the magazine in order to check whether there is any mention of putting the darn computer away in a noise-insulated box rolleyes.gif

I believe john33 was referring to files ripped from the CD at different speeds, confirmed to be bit identical, but still sounded different when played back on the same equipment.
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john33
post Jan 3 2012, 15:38
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QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 3 2012, 14:16) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ Jan 3 2012, 10:11) *
Well, remember that here it is not all the same equipment. CD player, memory stick, hard drive. Although I am not going to buy the magazine in order to check whether there is any mention of putting the darn computer away in a noise-insulated box rolleyes.gif

I believe john33 was referring to files ripped from the CD at different speeds, confirmed to be bit identical, but still sounded different when played back on the same equipment.

I believe you're correct! laugh.gif


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Porcus
post Jan 3 2012, 19:09
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QUOTE (john33 @ Jan 3 2012, 15:38) *
QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 3 2012, 14:16) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ Jan 3 2012, 10:11) *
Well, remember that here it is not all the same equipment. CD player, memory stick, hard drive. Although I am not going to buy the magazine in order to check whether there is any mention of putting the darn computer away in a noise-insulated box rolleyes.gif

I believe john33 was referring to files ripped from the CD at different speeds, confirmed to be bit identical, but still sounded different when played back on the same equipment.

I believe you're correct! laugh.gif

Oh-f(x)ing well ... and I see a claimed that they did single-blind the tests, then this should go into the textbooks as an example of why that is not enough ...


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SoAnIs
post Jan 9 2012, 02:32
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I should mention that the same file played back at different times can sound different, since sound perception is dependent on mental state. It's quite possible the cd, hard drive, and memory stick versions of the file sounded different, even if the sound coming out of the speakers was identical. This psychological variance is the reason for repeated double-blind testing. ABX testing uses repeated trials to assess a probability that a real difference is heard. Single trials without double-blind conditions are not scientifically valid. The same goes for the bit-identical files. If I listen to the file ripped at 1x when sober and at 16x when drunk I'll certainly hear different sound.
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Destroid
post Jan 9 2012, 10:38
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Actually, to be serious, there might be a tiny bit of interest in the article. Let us assume the auditory differences are real. Now...

Say, for instance (I didn't read the article because of the premise) that these listening tests were through speakers. Ok, what if the humidity changed (as it does often enough to be detected), did this account for the change in sound? Possibly. Did the uncompressed and compressed files get flip-flopped enough to take this in account? Was the tests followed up by headphone listening tests? Did they measure the temperature of the amplifier to take into account heat variances (since audiopholes seem to favor tube amps) to make sure the final stage did not introduce these differences? Oh wait, it was already stated up-front that the tests were not even double-blind, let alone all the other factors they may exist after the audio leaves the DAC.

I guess it seemed obvious to some people, but I had to put it writing.

Happy New Ear![sp]


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Brother John
post Jan 9 2012, 19:37
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Destroid, you’re falling in the exact trap they are building (if intentionally or not, who knows) and that’s creating a huge discussion about meaningless details. That »experiment« was flawed on such a fundamental level that discussing nuances like changing humidity is completely irrelevant. If the major cornerstones of the experiment are bullshit – as db1989 lined out in detail – the results is bullshit. It’s as simple as that.


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Destroid
post Jan 9 2012, 20:20
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Yes, I think my above post was intended for those involved in writing the article. Maybe I just wanted to them to see if they could sort out all the finely granulated secrets of the universe they can perceive that regular good ol' scientific method is too ignorant and insensitive to notice. Anyway, you're right about niggling details that cloud the issue. If lossless was so flawed I wonder why it works so well for computer programs and not audio? huh.gif

P.S. It was a drunk/inspired response after reading SoAnIs' post smile.gif


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 11 2012, 15:30
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QUOTE (Stereoeditor @ Jan 2 2012, 09:02) *
While it it is true that it took me longer than the authors liked to go through their article - it was 16,000 words - I felt there were methodological problems and technical misstatements that would need to be addressed. I discussed these issues with Chuck Zeilig last May, but his reaction was to withdraw the offer to have the article published in Stereophile. It has subsequently been published in The Absolute Sound in its original form, as far as I can tell from the first two installments.


Congratulations on reaching such a reasonable and relevant conclusion, John!
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 11 2012, 15:47
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QUOTE (JimH @ Jan 1 2012, 19:46) *
While you guys get a lot of things right, maybe even most things, I think you occasionally underestimate the importance of opinion, equipment, and hearing.


Looks to me like you may be confusing well-informed disagreement with some kind of error or failing.

Consider the possibility that unlike others, we who disagree are highly aware of and sensitive to the importance of the impact of prexisting knowlege and opinion on listening evaluations that are performed with inadequate experimental controls.

Consider the possibility that we who disagree have enough understanding and experience with audio gear to not buy into the myth that there are highly expensive pieces of audio gear that strip away dozens of desensitizing veils, as compared to more ordinary equipment that meets reasonable technical standards.

Consider the possibility that we who disagree far better understand prevailing science as it applies to hearing and human sensitivity to small technical differences.

QUOTE
I don't agree with all that the authors said in the article, but I think they honestly tried to be objective (if you can apply that word to something as subjective as music). They spent about a year working on the article. I talked with Chuck Zielig 10 or 15 times and he was generally very precise and demanding about details.


The problem here is that we don't need to assume that these writers are dishonest, all we need to do is suspect that they haven't done their homework.

QUOTE
I don't think that Stereophile rejected their aticle for technical reasons (or for any other reasons). I believe that the authors just got tired of waiting to hear from Stereophile and took their work to TAS.


I read John Atkinson's recent reply to this thread as saying that you are very wrong about their article not being rejected for technical reasons.

I think that charitable judgements are a good thing, but that they are often misapplied to situations that are themselves very troubled and troubling.
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