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pro audio & audiophile contradictions
Old 19th August 2009
  #61
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Interesting thread.

Krell Audiophile = AD series in Avalon.
Avalon Designs = VT Series.

Now you know why the AD series is so much better than the VT...
Old 19th August 2009
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnert View Post
So, they do enjoy numbers when they can in fact measure differences! Funny then why they do not measure those audiophile cables?
It presents a problem. To measure actual differences in audio cables besides static tests like inductance, resistance and capacitance requires test gear most audio bandwidth labs don't have. You need stuff like rf network/spectrum analyzers from HP or Agilent to dig down deep but those are $100k and up. The only audio wire manufacturer that has that stuff is Ray Kimber.

The other problem is the test results showing performance at rf frequencies don't tell anything about how it will end up sounding other than the skilled designer knowing from experience what results will effect certain sonics. Even if the test results like high frequency response, phase, linearity, propagation delay, etc, were published many wouldn't know how to interpret them as most measurements would begin far above the audio bandwidth. Comparing 20k hz is enough for many, comparing 10 mhz is star trek to most.

Still, some would know what they mean and comparisons to a reference would ear train the listener to learn what measurements/wire differences effect which results. I would personally love to see all of them plotted including the static test results. This country is dumbed down enough already, let's see the tests. We can all learn.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 19th August 2009
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmmcdonald View Post
The professional audio community generally views home audiophiles with suspicion (at least that is my interpretation from this forum and others). Ironically, however, the professional audio press typically evaluates audio products totally subjectively, whereas the audiophile press provides performance measurements in addition to, or in support of, the subjective evaluations.
I wish that microphone makers would agree to a set of standards for off-axis response measurements and agree to make the measurements and make them available. David J. has tried to get some interest in this as chair of the AES working group on microphone characterization. Of course, it will only happen if a substantial part of the market insists on that. But will we? Not likely.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 19th August 2009
  #64
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Audiophilism can go absurd legths: take the case of 100 000 € speaker cables (yes, 140 k$). This guy here in Finland has a killer audio system and triple set of the most expencive wires he could find. He bought the twice-as-expencive cable models "just in case" (his own words) and of course there have to be separate cables for low, mid and tweeter even if they are connected at the same terminal at the amp.

The saddest thing is that if the aim of this all stupidity is to minimixe the effect of the cables on the system, how come did he not build a set where there would be no analog cables at all? After all it would have been much cheaper to have separate DACs with adjustable output levels hardwired to the power amps, and hardwire the amps to the speakers. Presto! no speaker cables, perfect sound!

The problem with this setup is that speaker cables are an important part of the tweaking process and that owning that kind of cable set is what gives him the satisfaction, not the sound the system is producing. Also the equipment stack should sit between the speakers in plan view, not hidden behind the speakers etc....

Well, some people buy 400 000 € Tourbillon watches even if a 20 € quartz watch is more accurate.

Professionals must count their money more carefully = more pragmatic angle at things connected with sound quality. Many also have some engineering background = will not belive everything marketing comes up with. Still, reading this site still makes me wonder sometimes...
Old 19th August 2009
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It presents a problem. To measure actual differences in audio cables besides static tests like inductance, resistance and capacitance requires test gear most audio bandwidth labs don't have. You need stuff like rf network/spectrum analyzers from HP or Agilent to dig down deep but those are $100k and up. The only audio wire manufacturer that has that stuff is Ray Kimber.

The other problem is the test results showing performance at rf frequencies don't tell anything about how it will end up sounding other than the skilled designer knowing from experience what results will effect certain sonics. Even if the test results like high frequency response, phase, linearity, propagation delay, etc, were published many wouldn't know how to interpret them as most measurements would begin far above the audio bandwidth. Comparing 20k hz is enough for many, comparing 10 mhz is star trek to most.

Still, some would know what they mean and comparisons to a reference would ear train the listener to learn what measurements/wire differences effect which results. I would personally love to see all of them plotted including the static test results. This country is dumbed down enough already, let's see the tests. We can all learn.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
With respect, you are joking right?

I'm sure most companies manufacturing amplifiers (and so on) don't use £100k RF test gear.

Isn't it the case that if the difference can't be measured using 'reasonable' test equipment (can still be Agilent, Tek, etc.) suited to the application, then it ain't gonna appear at the loudspeakers and certainly won't be heard? That is to say, there's surely no point.

Ray Kimber with such equipment is surely a paradox

I just can't get my head around this...yes from a marketing BS point-of-view...but I can't imagine an EE turning up for work to design an amp or whatever and being able to do so believing this nonsense. If he thought he didn't really understand the properties of cables when used for audio, then what hope would he have of even the most basic design?
Old 19th August 2009
  #66
Gear Guru
 

so let me get this straight- it's the audiophiles who respect and insist on measurement and specs for their gear and the pro audio engineers 'forget' to demand this info.

OK so let's see those 'specs' for that $3500 power cable!

let's see the 'specs' for the Clever Little Clock, or the green flashlight, or the little pebbles, or...
Old 19th August 2009
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshoss View Post
"The source" in audiophile-speak commonly refers to the media, not the recording studio or musicians. That is, "the vinyl source" or the "digital source". In that regard, it's legitimate for them to strive closer to the source.
If it's expensive, so what? If some of it is poor value or doesn't do the job, so what? Isn't this forum also all about "the expensive stuff"? Not necessarily "the good stuff" or "the good value stuff".
Why do you say it? The source is the recording, not the media.

I have read over and over for decades about how the hifi press talks about this or that LP portraying the master tape in the most "faithful" way.

I do agree that different media has a certain sound--eg. LP "sound."
Old 19th August 2009
  #68
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I think about all I have to say on the audiophile spending issue is that if one is true to that intent, one should spend money in a way that makes a difference and produces a good result.

To that end, if I were spending money in six figures, I would start by designing and building a good listening room designed like a high-end control room, with an exterior shell and inner walls designed to minimize hard reflections and control room modes. Then I'd invest in appropriate sound treatment to eliminate first order reflections within the first 20 msec and provide later diffuse sound from the rear.

Once I had done that, I'd then continue by copying the monitoring rig of a good mastering shop. At that point, I'd probably call it a day and enjoy the tunes.

I guess the point I'm trying to reinforce is that spending huge amounts of money on obscure hi-fi gear, while questionable in its effect under any circumstance, is absurd if one has failed to first create a truly high fidelity listening space, and that can't be done without some substantial investment.

Of course, I might make the same argument about the monitoring space and systems of a lot of high-end recording studios, but in the world of real, commercial production there are compromises required due to workflow and customers' visual expectations and listening needs that don't allow for ideal sonic practices.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 19th August 2009
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
test results showing performance at rf frequencies don't tell anything about how it will end up sounding
This is the crux of it. I don't care what happens at 2 MHz or even 100 Khz, and neither should anyone else.

--Ethan
Old 19th August 2009
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
With respect, you are joking right?

I'm sure most companies manufacturing amplifiers (and so on) don't use £100k RF test gear.

Isn't it the case that if the difference can't be measured using 'reasonable' test equipment (can still be Agilent, Tek, etc.) suited to the application, then it ain't gonna appear at the loudspeakers and certainly won't be heard? That is to say, there's surely no point.

Ray Kimber with such equipment is surely a paradox

I just can't get my head around this...yes from a marketing BS point-of-view...but I can't imagine an EE turning up for work to design an amp or whatever and being able to do so believing this nonsense. If he thought he didn't really understand the properties of cables when used for audio, then what hope would he have of even the most basic design?
Jim was only talking about testing cables, not amps.
Old 19th August 2009
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
so let me get this straight- it's the audiophiles who respect and insist on measurement and specs for their gear and the pro audio engineers 'forget' to demand this info.

OK so let's see those 'specs' for that $3500 power cable!

let's see the 'specs' for the Clever Little Clock, or the green flashlight, or the little pebbles, or...
Or the green marker stuff they used to put on CD's....wood blocks for amps, etc.
Old 19th August 2009
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post

The real question is why audiophiles will spend 5 grand on some junk to keep their cables off the floor, but won't ever, ever spend a dime treating their room!!

Some like to buck the trend
Old 20th August 2009
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Jim was only talking about testing cables, not amps.
LOL! I knew someone would say that heh

You have to read between the lines!

Yes I know he was talking about cables but I don't think even those audiophiles on the lunatic fringe would suggest a cable sounds like anything on its own

In the hifi world the amp is the device to which most of the cables connect so I was kind of extrapolating from there.

I got the impression Jim was supporting the Ray Kimbers of this world, perhaps I was wrong and he was just stating a point about cable measurements in isolation, if so I apologise!

What I'd like to know is if the like of Ray Kimber actually believe it themselves or whether they are laughing all the way to the bank.
Old 20th August 2009
  #74
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Hi
Perhaps it is the other end of the spectrum from 'Infra-bass', those with really good Hi Fi setups get a 'buzz of euphoria' from the mild RF radiation from their HF capable amps and cabling?
Matt S
How about studios (or other places of performance) selling tickets so that the 'HiFi buffs' can sit in for the real authentic sound. The price of the tickets could then help support ailing studios.
Old 20th August 2009
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
What I'd like to know is if the like of Ray Kimber actually believe it themselves or whether they are laughing all the way to the bank.
Pick up the phone and ask him. He's in Utah. Spending several hundred thousand dollars of one's own cash for such test gear instead of laughing ought to say something.

Look at Monster, a company consisting of a large legal department instead of a large lab. They prefer to spend their profits in litigation instead of the lab.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 20th August 2009
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Pick up the phone and ask him. He's in Utah. Spending several hundred thousand dollars of one's own cash for such test gear instead of laughing ought to say something.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Uhm, what are you saying? That some stranger could call him and he would admit the 'truth' behind his lies (if it was so)?



Owning/investing hundreds of thousands in test gear doesn't mean anything on its own. Maybe he bought it to do something no other cable manufacture did, scientifically test and produce a cable that actually performed better audibly. But perhaps he wasn't successful? Yet (perhaps) he found his sales increased anyway, since his customer base gave more credence to the only cable manufacture to own such testing gear?

Plus, what would it look like if he bought such test gear, then sold it?

Finally, it's the audible difference that matters, no matter how the cable 'tests', right? So why not prove it scientifically in the real world? Why not spend just a few thousand dollars and independently fund a true double blind ABX test using many different type of cables? Have a few audiophile magazines host it, have audiophiles, audiophile journalists, non-audiophiles, studio engineers, musicians, etc. as the test subjects?

Why have NONE of the cable companies ever done that! And if I were to call Ray Kimber, that is what I would ask him. If you're gonna spend that kinda $$ on test gear, why not seal the deal with a real world scientific ABX test?

(and the only ABX double blind test I've seen was done on AC cables by 'secrets of home theater and hifi', and the result was as expected, 50/50 guess rate...the same as flipping a coin)
Old 20th August 2009
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Uhm, what are you saying? That some stranger could call him and he would admit the 'truth' behind his lies (if it was so)?



Owning/investing hundreds of thousands in test gear doesn't mean anything on its own. Maybe he bought it to do something no other cable manufacture did, scientifically test and produce a cable that actually performed better audibly. But perhaps he wasn't successful? Yet (perhaps) he found his sales increased anyway, since his customer base gave more credence to the only cable manufacture to own such testing gear?

Plus, what would it look like if he bought such test gear, then sold it?

Finally, it's the audible difference that matters, no matter how the cable 'tests', right? So why not prove it scientifically in the real world? Why not spend just a few thousand dollars and independently fund a true double blind ABX test using many different type of cables? Have a few audiophile magazines host it, have audiophiles, audiophile journalists, non-audiophiles, studio engineers, musicians, etc. as the test subjects?

Why have NONE of the cable companies ever done that! And if I were to call Ray Kimber, that is what I would ask him. If you're gonna spend that kinda $$ on test gear, why not seal the deal with a real world scientific ABX test?

(and the only ABX double blind test I've seen was done on AC cables by 'secrets of home theater and hifi', and the result was as expected, 50/50 guess rate...the same as flipping a coin)
Amen brother heh

Actually I think him having the equipment to produce spun pseudo-scientific justification for his vic...customers is more insidious.

Y'know, if a guy wants to spend thousands on a cable because it looks good, feels good, makes him feel like the 'man' when his friends come around (cause the women are gonna say 'you wouldn't have the there if I live with you , LOL) and mistake them for fancy hoses, that's all fine by me. If he knows he won't hear the difference but just wants to know he has the best or that the properties are x, y, z then it's tops with me. BUT, if the guy is led to believe that he'll hear a difference and that's why he pays the big money, then that's where I have a problem.
Old 20th August 2009
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Uhm, what are you saying? That some stranger could call him and he would admit the 'truth' behind his lies (if it was so)?
Plus, what would it look like if he bought such test gear, then sold it?
Call him and ask him, if you're not afraid to drop a dime. What lies are you speaking of here? The one's your imagination has conjured up? He doesn't advertise the use of that test gear. It offers no sales benefit. He has not sold any of it either. Maybe he actually uses it?

What if you stopped putting words/thoughts into people's mouths? Ever heard of face value or is does everything have a hidden conspiracy?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 20th August 2009
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Call him and ask him, if you're not afraid to drop a dime. What lies are you speaking of here? The one's your imagination has conjured up? He doesn't advertise the use of that test gear. It offers no sales benefit. He has not sold any of it either. Maybe he actually uses it?

What if you stopped putting words/thoughts into people's mouths? Ever heard of face value or is does everything have a hidden conspiracy?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
If it was a 'lie', why would one admit to it? Hence it's redundant to call. If he said, 'No, it's not a lie', then I must believe him? Tell me what's scientific about that!

Having/using test gear doesn't prove ones cables perform audibly better....even you hinted to such in a previous post, no?

Face value>> It's called a scientific double blind ABX test as I mentioned. Why not put a few thousand into that? This is the biggest test for me....the fact that no cable manufacture would willing participate in such a test. Conspiracy or not, it's what cable manufactures fear the most.

Are you friends with Ray Kimber? Maybe you can ask him 'why not?' on the double blind ABX test? I'm sure someone on gearslutz would host and perform such a test if someone (Kimber?) would fund it with a couple thousand or so $$.

Last edited by Fleaman; 20th August 2009 at 06:21 PM.. Reason: last thought
Old 20th August 2009
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Oh, it gets much worse than that. Shunyata's King Cobra "AC cable" costs $3,500:

MUSICDIRECT - SHUNYATA - KING COBRA CX AC POWER CORD

Then there's this "demagnetizer" for your vinyl LP records and CDs:

SoundStage! Vinyl Word - Furutech DeMag LP Demagnetizer (2/2007)

Such a value at "only" $1,800! heh

--Ethan

It gets worse..

the Virtual Dynamics JUDGE power cord is 13,000.00




I wish there could be a happy medium, a meeting in the middle. There are some "audiophile" designers who dont subscribe to the more mythical aspects of sound reproduction, but instead make and market their wares according to sound scientific principles. Quad, Bryston, PASS Labs, Analysis Plus, Earl Geddes, the list goes on..unfortunately the mythical/fringe element has given audiophiles a bad name, when really, striving for the best possible sound reproduction is a noble thing.

Virtual Dynamics==voodoo

it is equally sad that people outside of the HiFi community take the worst aspects of the hobby(the stupid green marker tweak and the idiotic tice clock) and use them to construct nice little stereotypes.

it is no better than saying "all sound engineers like to compress the daylights out of the CDs they are working on, removing the dynamic range"
Teleportation Tweak Audio Video Telephone Advanced Long Distance Quantum Entanglement
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