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Old 7th Oct 2017, 8:26 am   #61
russell_w_b
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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I have heard astounding stereo imaging from an Amstrad music centre which I was repairing, when the soundstage suddenly snapped into place for no apparent reason, and I was 'in' the concert hall, despite the otherwise poor reproduction.
It's yer eigentones, innit?
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 9:01 am   #62
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

It's yer paradigm shift!

Your attention shifts from listening to the equipment to listening to the music. The equipment vanishes and your head fills in anything missing. If only the audiophiles understood that they don't need new equipment, they just need new heads.

Psychoacoustics is made up of 90% psycho and 10% acoustics.

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Old 7th Oct 2017, 9:11 am   #63
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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If these devices were offered on a 'money back if not satisfied' basis, I suspect the psychology might change somewhat. It would certainly be interesting to see if any remained about which these was a consensus of unexplained but nevertheless beneficial effects.
I doubt that very much! In fact, for the type of people we are talking about, that's the nub of the problem; they are not open minded, they want to hear an improvement, so their brain tells them that they can. Otherwise, if they did the sensible thing and together with a mate or two performed some blind testing (ABX preferably), they'd soon find out that there is no difference, or at least, they cannot hear it. No, these people are a 'type', their one goal is the pursuance of 'perfect sound'. Sadly, as we all know, that doesn't exist, and sadder still, a lot of these people simply do not have the 'ears' to differentiate anyway. Just as there are brain surgeons, there are studio engineers and experienced audio equipment designers, and just because the 'layman' possesses a pair of lugholes, it demonstrably doesn't equip him to be an expert on sound and sound systems. Neither does reading and digesting hifi mags by the truckload. But people do, and they hang on every word. They can't be cured, seriously. Hey, there's people out there making money out of all this, say no more!
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 9:20 am   #64
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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It's yer paradigm shift!
So that's what the 'P' stands for on the selector knob of my Mission Cyrus One amp! Wondered about that... I sense a new marketing idea here.

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Psychoacoustics is made up of 90% psycho and 10% acoustics.
!0% dodgy drapes, soft furniture, badly positioned speakers and flat, hard perpendicular walls, surely?

Next time you're in the shower, start humming gently about Middle 'C' (256Hz) and sweep downwards as low as you can reasonably hum. There'll come a point when you hit resonance and, depending on the 'Q' of your bathroom, will peak over a narrow band. That's what's happening to your audio in a typical home environment.

I've been wanting to share this for years, and now I have the chance! But I expect everyone knows anyway...
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 9:38 am   #65
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

I tend to use headphones because of that and they drown out the kids. Bought a pair of HD25’s about 12 years ago. Seems to be the best compromise without having to rearrange the furniture which is non negotiable.
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 3:08 am   #66
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

I am still an audiophool, BUT I use copper wire ( mostly) and common sense.

My Golden ear amp will be my last, I am hoping it's my "Crowing Glory" sic.

Joe
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 3:01 pm   #67
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Russell has hit one of the audiophile nails on the head.

Anyone who can afford to spend tens of thousands of pounds on chasing a Holy Grail of audio reproduction would be far better off spending much of it on treating their room acoustics, or building a listening room designed for the purpose.

But then, no doubt, the hi-fi world would fill up with unqualified snake-oil "acousticians" to relieve them of their money...
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 3:29 pm   #68
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

They already exist. My old landlord was one.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 3:42 pm   #69
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

True enough but it's all about what's in the head as most people suggest-if you perceive it...it's real As I said in post 15, it's not just about audio equipment. People spend 3k on a TV when 300 one is much the same or a fitted kitchen that is so impressive they don't actually use it. The Audio irony [although I'm not sure if it still applies] used to be that when you were old enough to be able afford the Sports Car or Hi Fi it was too late. In the case of the audio it's further complicated by hearing loss which might mean you can't hear half the frequency range you've bought expensive cables to [allegedly] achieve

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Old 11th Oct 2017, 4:09 pm   #70
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Anyone who can afford to spend tens of thousands of pounds on chasing a Holy Grail of audio reproduction would be far better off spending much of it on
Going to a concert, dinner afterwards of course.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 4:26 pm   #71
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

That brings up a good point actually. How does the reproduction magically improve between the original recording done by a nicotine and alcohol intoxicated producer with a pair of cheap monitors on his head and the super-duper pile of audiophile gear?

Edit: actually back in my youth, when I was part of an 80s goth band (don't ask), we were at a studio and there was a relatively well known band there as well. Turns out the final mastering was done afterwards in some guy's basement council flat in Chalk Farm with some old salvaged kit from another studio and a hell of a lot of beer. This band was respectably involved with Pink Floyd's producer. We sucked for reference and never made it past pub band status.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 4:34 pm   #72
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Oooh, concerts are dangerous. Someone could ask them what they thought of it and put them on the spot for judging a performance and speaking intelligently about it.

Recorded music is much safer. They can buy magazines which tell them what to say about it, thereby removing all risk of saying something wrong.

David

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Old 11th Oct 2017, 4:49 pm   #73
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

And yet ... and yet ... in the end this involves people spending their own money and getting pleasure in return. Given the well-established fact that people's experience of sound can be significantly enhanced by their beliefs about it, the fundamental questions as I see it are

1. Are there levels of pleasure that can only be delivered by misleading people ? If the truth is that all CD transports, DACs and electronic amplifiers (I've deliberately excluded speakers) which reach a certain, actually quite affordable, standard will essentially deliver music in the same way, then there's no mechanism for delivering more pleasure by selling more expensive equipment (=taking money) which doesn't involve making misleading claims about it.

2. If the above is true is it still wrong to mislead people and right to deny them the pleasure ? The 'small picture' is that they will have parted with their money in return for pleasure and what's so bad about that ? Perhaps the 'bigger' picture is that by encouraging them to reject conventional science in this case, where it doesn't matter (much), they're also being encouraged to doubt science in general where it sometimes does matter (health issues, climate change, wasting of natural resources etc).

Personally I draw the line at misleading people. Not only would it leave a bad taste in my mouth but my professional body (the Institute of Physics) could, in principle at least, chuck me out if I were caught bringing the subject into disrepute . But I hesitate to go out of my way to attack their beliefs. Some of them seem genuinely happy as a result of them and who am I to ruin that. It would be like saying there's no Santa Claus. Or no (reasonable) chance of winning the lottery.

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Old 11th Oct 2017, 4:59 pm   #74
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Perhaps "acousticians" & "audiophiles" are at the opposing end of the 70's Hi-Fi nuts but amongst that crowd were genuine but less savy everyday people who, for the first time, had to run the gauntlet of the high street Hi-Fi shops, run by spotty faced, fascists with only one aim, that being to humiliate the poor innocent sod whilst relieving them of their hard earned money. Such stores as Lasky's comes high on the list.

And the sketch by the "Not The Nine O'Clock News" team caught that perfectly.

Full Sketch on YouTube

https://youtu.be/DvswW6M7bMo
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 6:17 pm   #75
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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If the truth is that x,y,z..which reach a certain...standard will essentially deliver music in the same way, then there's no mechanism for delivering more pleasure by selling more expensive equipment .. which doesn't involve making misleading claims about it.
Not necessarily. There is a considerable aesthetic aspect to equipment that owes nothing to its claims of audio performance. You can legitimately and justifiably charge one or two orders of magnitude more for something that looks and lasts like fine jewellery, compared to an equivalently-performing functional item of zero aesthetic merit and modest durability.

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...if the perfectionism is based in Science and not a delusional (fixed false belief system) or a Faith based (proof absent system) then the attempts at perfection seen in the construction of some apparatus gives us all a "quality reference"
I spent years in professional audio judging by specs, measurements and performance, but still value looks, feel and build quality very highly. It would be a good thing if makers and vendors of boutique HiFi would emphasise these aspects as of value in their own right, instead of making suspect claims about their benefit to the sonics.

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Audiophiles have pumped up the prices of some parts we'd rather use to keep original equipment going.
I can accept that there are people in the world whose 'understanding' of physics differs from mine, and would happily leave them to work out their own fate. Except that they cannot be ignored, because they keep buying-up and parting-out my favourite toys in search of scarce components to feed their metaphysical addiction. Thus I am obliged to try and convince every one of them of their folly, to safeguard my interests. I'm not making much headway...
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 6:28 pm   #76
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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The 'small picture' is that they will have parted with their money in return for pleasure and what's so bad about that ?
So it may be an example of a 'win-win' situation, then? The people who manufacture the equipment are kept employed; the advertising people who dream up spurious pseudo-scientific claims for the aforementioned equipment won't go short of a bob or two; it keeps a select band of retailers 'in on the act' in business...

The punters who wish to be one up on their chums and who purchase said equipment are happy because the serious money they have 'invested' in all this nonsense makes them feel good about themselves because it's obviously the best money can buy, innit? It says so on the Interweb and in the Hi-Fi magazines in W. H. Smith so it must be right.

But isn't it the same with watches? And cameras? And bicycles? And art (art being defined as 'what you can get away with'). And guess what? The magazines who publish articles about the benefits of all these 'must-have' consumables are kept going too, funded and nudged by the advertisers mentioned earlier. Why spoil a good game of tin whip by throwing a few facts and scientific evidence around?

Everyone's a winner, baybee...
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 6:45 pm   #77
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Default Re: 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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It's yer eigentones, innit?
Eeeeh, eignenvalues (resonant frequencies) and eigenvectors (mode shapes) - that takes me back

I got Permanent Head Damage trying to 'do things' to those with signal processing and secondary sources, once upon a time. I like your bathroom experiment - I used to suggest it to students. Also relevant and bathroom related - my kids got some bathtime whistles whose pitch changes depending on the amount of water in them (which changes the length of the 1/4 wave air column). It's a funny demo to play one while tilting the thing through a range of angles. The pitch of the fundamental doesn't shift at all, which is a nice finger in the eye for walls-out-of-square critical listeners (though - that is one way around flutter echoes, before someone gives me the finger back again )
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 7:33 pm   #78
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

While no doubt sometimes the case, the example I cited wasn't, I think, down to Eigentones or paradigm shift!
I was listening (more accurately, simply hearing without much attention and with no expectations) nearfield within my large, cluttered workshop, which has no prominent resonances. What caught my attention wasn't the music but a round of applause. The phenomenon was sudden, short-lived and unexpected. It seemed possible to locate individual audience members, and the shape and size of the hall were remarkably clear. I even noticed when a door was opened at the rear of the hall, simply by the change in acoustic. A genuinely astonishing experience which lasted perhaps 30 seconds before collapsing back to the expected vague and amorphous effect. Something fell into place briefly, whether physical or psychological, completely unexpectedly. If it could have been be analysed and recreated, there would be a fortune to be made.
When I used to do small PA jobs, one of the first things I would do was to stand and whistle / sing a gliding tone at various points in the hall. Just like the bathroom example, this quickly demonstrated any resonant frequencies to beware of.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 7:34 pm   #79
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Thanks for the "Not the Nine O'Clock News" link.

Flanders and Swan wrote a brilliant song about this (Song of Reproduction) 60 years ago in 1957: some things never change!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fJmmDkvQyc

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Old 11th Oct 2017, 10:20 pm   #80
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Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

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Not necessarily. There is a considerable aesthetic aspect to equipment that owes nothing to its claims of audio performance. You can legitimately and justifiably charge one or two orders of magnitude more for something that looks and lasts like fine jewellery, compared to an equivalently-performing functional item of zero aesthetic merit and modest durability.
This is true. But those features appeal to a different group of people. I was thinking of people whose pleasure comes from the sound they hear (in their heads, of course) but I didn't make that clear. They're the ones whose pleasure would be denied to them if their beliefs were convincingly debunked and/or ridiculed.

Then there's the group of people who pay way more than an item is worth in performance terms for yet another set of reasons - rarity and the pleasure of owning something old. There's nothing 'wrong' with us is there !

Cheers,

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