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Re: [regsaudioforum] Review by listening

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  • Fred
    And easily experimented with (even using headphones) given the wide availability of freeware programs. and player add-ons e.g. to Winamp. Fred. P.S. Anyone
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 27, 2013
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      And easily experimented with (even using headphones) given the wide availability of freeware programs. and player add-ons e.g. to Winamp.

      Fred.
      P.S. Anyone have an opinion of AIMP3?
      http://www.aimp2.us/aimp3-download.php


      From: Ken Holder <ken_holder@...>
      To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, 27 April 2013, 7:39
      Subject: Re: [regsaudioforum] Review by listening

       
      On 4/26/2013 7:38 PM, Robert wrote:

       
      But when one listens on and on with
      no measurements, then it can be like
      remembering colors or pitch(for people
      without absolute pitch in the strong sense).
      One can drift somewhat.
      And usually in audio reviewing the drift
      has been historically towards more and more
      high frequency content--because it sounds
      clearer and more detailed and more "interesting"/

      Yet anyone who listens through an octave equalizer
      and plays with turning this then that octave up and
      down would quickly learn this. Gordon Holt always
      recommended listeners do this as an educational
      activity. Nobody at TAS did as far as I can recall.

      It is a VERY educational activity I must say!

      Ken Holder
      Old Guy


    • Peter
      ... has been historically towards more and more high frequency content--because it sounds clearer and more detailed and more interesting / And perhaps because
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 27, 2013
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        > And usually in audio reviewing the drift
        has been historically towards more and more
        high frequency content--because it sounds
        clearer and more detailed and more "interesting"/
        And perhaps because it acts as a tone control to compensate for age-related hearing loss?
      • Robert
        I disagree with this actually. There are problems with review by listening. One has to do it carefully for it to work. But it DOES work if you do it right--and
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 27, 2013
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          I disagree with this actually. There
          are problems with review by listening.
          One has to do it carefully for it to work.
          But it DOES work if you do it right--and
          it works in a way that nothing else does.
          The reason is that after one gets speakers
          free of obvious measured errors, free of irregularity
          in frequency response in particular, there
          are still aspects of their performance as
          something to listen to
          that are variable. On the basic level,
          EQing them to match makes them sound similar
          but not identical.
          For example, it is quite hard to identify
          in measurement terms
          what makes them sound coherent, what makes
          the drivers intregrate. And certain subtle colorations
          are also hard to identify in listening terms.

          Another problem is that speakers are quite bad in
          measurement terms, even today, but certain
          types of bad measurements are far worse to listen to
          than others.

          Another feature of this is that human response
          to frequency response errors is very delicate--
          exactly what sounds neutral in a nonanechoic environment
          is probably better investigated via listening
          than by any theoretical model. (We have discussed
          this a lot in connection with room correction).

          The thing is, review by listening has to be
          done very carefully and using known material.
          But done right it is still the best way.
          Indeed it is the only way in a sense: since
          the ultimate goal is something that sounds right,
          there is really no choice but to verify that it
          does by listening to it. If one had a perfect
          model of hearing and listening, one could use the
          model--but of course the model itself would
          have to have been verified by listening!

          Think about the logic here: One is looking
          for a certain experience. There is no way to know
          when the experience will happen except to try it.


          And it is not really a matter of taste--not done right.

          As an anecdote, I note that Corey Greenberg, who
          was a rock person and about as far from my musical
          tastes as one is likely to find, loved the Spendor SP1/2.
          Right is right.
          REG



          --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "musica_pt" <ricardo_franca@...> wrote:
          >
          > This is a fine illustration of why I feel that, in general, listening or subjective reviewing is pretty close to worthless for the reader - entertaining but of little practical use.
          > Even when supported by a reasonably effective methodology, subjective reviewing is ultimately subject to taste, which as we know is not universal.
          >
          > Subjective reviewing is a comparative analysis of what we listen with our memories of live sound and of reproduced sound.
          > This implies that our references are the proper ones: live unamplified music in a natural acoustic environment and "neutral"-sounding (quasi) full-range systems.
          > It is also mandatory that we use unamplified music "correctly" recorded in a natural acoustic environment.
          > Then we have eliminate the systems shortcomings: the speakers must be (quasi) full-range, adequately positioned and partnered with the correct amplification (high output impedance amplifiers must never be used for evaluation), and the room should be fit for the job (AD's listening room response comes to mind).
          > Finally we need to correlate our findings with measurements, which should be used to corroborate or reject our listening impressions.
          > And all matters of taste should be clearly expressed (and perhaps explained).
          >
          > Of course this rules out about 98% of all published material.
          >
          > But we must also evaluate the target audience before we criticise the current model and if we look closely most audiophiles are out for a system that sounds good, or at least a system that makes their recordings sound good.
          > Many know only reproduced and amplified sound and don't care about high fidelity, which in turn explains their interest in sound effects like "soundstage" and "air" which for them represent the pinnacle of the stereophonic "ilusion" (not sound but "imaging").
          > Some do it for the gear, getting really hung up on designer (and even reviewer) philosophies and on exotic topologies like single-driver speakers, S.E.T. amplifiers, N.O.S. D/ACs and old cinema sound systems, others get their kick out of comparing the sound of different gear (and accessories).
          > There are many ways to pratice audiophilia.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Ricardo
          >
          >
          > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <regtas43@> wrote:
          > >
          > > One thing that happens when one
          > > does review by listening alone is
          > > that frequency response evaluation
          > > can start to drift. If one measured
          > > a mike of the sort used by Mercury
          > > or even looked at a (valid) measurement, it
          > > would be clear that the mike was not
          > > right.
          > > But when one listens on and on with
          > > no measurements, then it can be like
          > > remembering colors or pitch(for people
          > > without absolute pitch in the strong sense).
          > > One can drift somewhat.
          > > And usually in audio reviewing the drift
          > > has been historically towards more and more
          > > high frequency content--because it sounds
          > > clearer and more detailed and more "interesting"/
          > >
          > > I do not like this myself, but a lot of
          > > people do drift that way. This came
          > > to my mind not just about Mercury
          > > but in reading last night(during dog run time)
          > > a review of the Lyra Parnassus cartridge.
          > > The review begins with a praise of the Clavis
          > > (the previous cartridge from the manufacturer),
          > > Now I do not know the Parnassus except from
          > > a short listening session(I did not like it).
          > > But I know for a fact that the Clavis
          > > had a 4 dB peak at 11k.
          > >
          > > This would sound awful--especially with Mercuries
          > > actually. But the review did not mention this
          > > problem at all, just went on about its clarity
          > > and resolution and blah blah blah.
          > > And then it went on to say that the Parn. was
          > > even better--but it was probably toppy too.
          > >
          > > Another example is how for years people declared
          > > Thiels to be "accurate" rather than euphonic.
          > > Well, no one would call them euphonic. But most
          > > of them were not accurate at all--they had in
          > > most cases a seriously rising top. But hardly
          > > anyone noticed.
          > >
          > > Listening is the ultimate test--but it has
          > > to be anchored to standards and direct comparisons.
          > >
          > > So it has gone all too often
          > >
          > > REG
          > >
          >
        • musica_pt
          In theory I agree with you when you mention that listening (subjective reviewing) done right it is still the best way . I even described what I believe to be
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 27, 2013
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            In theory I agree with you when you mention that listening (subjective reviewing) "done right it is still the best way".
            I even described what I believe to be an acceptable methodology or the requirements for decent impartial results.
            But transmiting one's impressions in a clear and understandable manner is not as easy as one might believe and real world professional hi-fi reviewing (magazines) is as "unregulated" as the wild west.

            I'm sure you've read many reviews where people use "inadequate" recordings, incorrect speaker positioning, amplifiers unfit for the task, obsess with "soundstage" and "air" and "resolution" and "tight, dry bass", and are unable to provide unbiased opinions on equipment performance; it's not rare to see JA questioning one of his writers' opinion on a certain piece of equipment in the measurements page.
            And to add insult to injury they often "copy" the manufacturer's "cientific" propaganda without any kind of critical filtering or factual verification and/or provide technical information that is incorrect.
            In my view, these kind of reviews (which represent the large majority) are little more than advertisements that have been embelished with a personal twist and toped with an emotional impression...

            Cheers,
            Ricardo


            --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <regtas43@...> wrote:
            >
            > The thing is, review by listening has to be
            > done very carefully and using known material.
            > But done right it is still the best way.
            > Indeed it is the only way in a sense: since
            > the ultimate goal is something that sounds right,
            > there is really no choice but to verify that it
            > does by listening to it. If one had a perfect
            > model of hearing and listening, one could use the
            > model--but of course the model itself would
            > have to have been verified by listening!
            >
            > Think about the logic here: One is looking
            > for a certain experience. There is no way to know
            > when the experience will happen except to try it.
            >
            >
            > And it is not really a matter of taste--not done right.
            >
            > As an anecdote, I note that Corey Greenberg, who
            > was a rock person and about as far from my musical
            > tastes as one is likely to find, loved the Spendor SP1/2.
            > Right is right.
            > REG
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "musica_pt" <ricardo_franca@> wrote:
            > >
            > > This is a fine illustration of why I feel that, in general, listening or subjective reviewing is pretty close to worthless for the reader - entertaining but of little practical use.
            > > Even when supported by a reasonably effective methodology, subjective reviewing is ultimately subject to taste, which as we know is not universal.
            > >
            > > Subjective reviewing is a comparative analysis of what we listen with our memories of live sound and of reproduced sound.
            > > This implies that our references are the proper ones: live unamplified music in a natural acoustic environment and "neutral"-sounding (quasi) full-range systems.
            > > It is also mandatory that we use unamplified music "correctly" recorded in a natural acoustic environment.
            > > Then we have eliminate the systems shortcomings: the speakers must be (quasi) full-range, adequately positioned and partnered with the correct amplification (high output impedance amplifiers must never be used for evaluation), and the room should be fit for the job (AD's listening room response comes to mind).
            > > Finally we need to correlate our findings with measurements, which should be used to corroborate or reject our listening impressions.
            > > And all matters of taste should be clearly expressed (and perhaps explained).
            > >
            > > Of course this rules out about 98% of all published material.
            > >
            > > But we must also evaluate the target audience before we criticise the current model and if we look closely most audiophiles are out for a system that sounds good, or at least a system that makes their recordings sound good.
            > > Many know only reproduced and amplified sound and don't care about high fidelity, which in turn explains their interest in sound effects like "soundstage" and "air" which for them represent the pinnacle of the stereophonic "ilusion" (not sound but "imaging").
            > > Some do it for the gear, getting really hung up on designer (and even reviewer) philosophies and on exotic topologies like single-driver speakers, S.E.T. amplifiers, N.O.S. D/ACs and old cinema sound systems, others get their kick out of comparing the sound of different gear (and accessories).
            > > There are many ways to pratice audiophilia.
            > >
            > > Cheers,
            > > Ricardo
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <regtas43@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > One thing that happens when one
            > > > does review by listening alone is
            > > > that frequency response evaluation
            > > > can start to drift. If one measured
            > > > a mike of the sort used by Mercury
            > > > or even looked at a (valid) measurement, it
            > > > would be clear that the mike was not
            > > > right.
            > > > But when one listens on and on with
            > > > no measurements, then it can be like
            > > > remembering colors or pitch(for people
            > > > without absolute pitch in the strong sense).
            > > > One can drift somewhat.
            > > > And usually in audio reviewing the drift
            > > > has been historically towards more and more
            > > > high frequency content--because it sounds
            > > > clearer and more detailed and more "interesting"/
            > > >
            > > > I do not like this myself, but a lot of
            > > > people do drift that way. This came
            > > > to my mind not just about Mercury
            > > > but in reading last night(during dog run time)
            > > > a review of the Lyra Parnassus cartridge.
            > > > The review begins with a praise of the Clavis
            > > > (the previous cartridge from the manufacturer),
            > > > Now I do not know the Parnassus except from
            > > > a short listening session(I did not like it).
            > > > But I know for a fact that the Clavis
            > > > had a 4 dB peak at 11k.
            > > >
            > > > This would sound awful--especially with Mercuries
            > > > actually. But the review did not mention this
            > > > problem at all, just went on about its clarity
            > > > and resolution and blah blah blah.
            > > > And then it went on to say that the Parn. was
            > > > even better--but it was probably toppy too.
            > > >
            > > > Another example is how for years people declared
            > > > Thiels to be "accurate" rather than euphonic.
            > > > Well, no one would call them euphonic. But most
            > > > of them were not accurate at all--they had in
            > > > most cases a seriously rising top. But hardly
            > > > anyone noticed.
            > > >
            > > > Listening is the ultimate test--but it has
            > > > to be anchored to standards and direct comparisons.
            > > >
            > > > So it has gone all too often
            > > >
            > > > REG
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • Robert
            The trouble is , you have to do something! Measurements properly interpreted tell you something. But they do not tell you everything. And the exact
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 27, 2013
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              The trouble is , you have to do something!
              Measurements properly interpreted tell you something.
              But they do not tell you everything.
              And the exact interpretation is very tricky.

              There are a lot of reviewers that one should perhaps
              not take seriously--there are a lot of reviewers
              altogether and on line magazines in particular
              seem to exercise little control at all.
              (not that print magazines are perfect).
              I do understand the difficulty.

              On the other hand, as years go by in a magazine
              of either kind the writers for which do not change,
              one can get some idea of whose opinions you
              might like to take seriously. Or so I hope!


              REG


              --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "musica_pt" <ricardo_franca@...> wrote:
              >
              > In theory I agree with you when you mention that listening (subjective reviewing) "done right it is still the best way".
              > I even described what I believe to be an acceptable methodology or the requirements for decent impartial results.
              > But transmiting one's impressions in a clear and understandable manner is not as easy as one might believe and real world professional hi-fi reviewing (magazines) is as "unregulated" as the wild west.
              >
              > I'm sure you've read many reviews where people use "inadequate" recordings, incorrect speaker positioning, amplifiers unfit for the task, obsess with "soundstage" and "air" and "resolution" and "tight, dry bass", and are unable to provide unbiased opinions on equipment performance; it's not rare to see JA questioning one of his writers' opinion on a certain piece of equipment in the measurements page.
              > And to add insult to injury they often "copy" the manufacturer's "cientific" propaganda without any kind of critical filtering or factual verification and/or provide technical information that is incorrect.
              > In my view, these kind of reviews (which represent the large majority) are little more than advertisements that have been embelished with a personal twist and toped with an emotional impression...
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Ricardo
              >
              >
              > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <regtas43@> wrote:
              > >
              > > The thing is, review by listening has to be
              > > done very carefully and using known material.
              > > But done right it is still the best way.
              > > Indeed it is the only way in a sense: since
              > > the ultimate goal is something that sounds right,
              > > there is really no choice but to verify that it
              > > does by listening to it. If one had a perfect
              > > model of hearing and listening, one could use the
              > > model--but of course the model itself would
              > > have to have been verified by listening!
              > >
              > > Think about the logic here: One is looking
              > > for a certain experience. There is no way to know
              > > when the experience will happen except to try it.
              > >
              > >
              > > And it is not really a matter of taste--not done right.
              > >
              > > As an anecdote, I note that Corey Greenberg, who
              > > was a rock person and about as far from my musical
              > > tastes as one is likely to find, loved the Spendor SP1/2.
              > > Right is right.
              > > REG
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "musica_pt" <ricardo_franca@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > This is a fine illustration of why I feel that, in general, listening or subjective reviewing is pretty close to worthless for the reader - entertaining but of little practical use.
              > > > Even when supported by a reasonably effective methodology, subjective reviewing is ultimately subject to taste, which as we know is not universal.
              > > >
              > > > Subjective reviewing is a comparative analysis of what we listen with our memories of live sound and of reproduced sound.
              > > > This implies that our references are the proper ones: live unamplified music in a natural acoustic environment and "neutral"-sounding (quasi) full-range systems.
              > > > It is also mandatory that we use unamplified music "correctly" recorded in a natural acoustic environment.
              > > > Then we have eliminate the systems shortcomings: the speakers must be (quasi) full-range, adequately positioned and partnered with the correct amplification (high output impedance amplifiers must never be used for evaluation), and the room should be fit for the job (AD's listening room response comes to mind).
              > > > Finally we need to correlate our findings with measurements, which should be used to corroborate or reject our listening impressions.
              > > > And all matters of taste should be clearly expressed (and perhaps explained).
              > > >
              > > > Of course this rules out about 98% of all published material.
              > > >
              > > > But we must also evaluate the target audience before we criticise the current model and if we look closely most audiophiles are out for a system that sounds good, or at least a system that makes their recordings sound good.
              > > > Many know only reproduced and amplified sound and don't care about high fidelity, which in turn explains their interest in sound effects like "soundstage" and "air" which for them represent the pinnacle of the stereophonic "ilusion" (not sound but "imaging").
              > > > Some do it for the gear, getting really hung up on designer (and even reviewer) philosophies and on exotic topologies like single-driver speakers, S.E.T. amplifiers, N.O.S. D/ACs and old cinema sound systems, others get their kick out of comparing the sound of different gear (and accessories).
              > > > There are many ways to pratice audiophilia.
              > > >
              > > > Cheers,
              > > > Ricardo
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <regtas43@> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > One thing that happens when one
              > > > > does review by listening alone is
              > > > > that frequency response evaluation
              > > > > can start to drift. If one measured
              > > > > a mike of the sort used by Mercury
              > > > > or even looked at a (valid) measurement, it
              > > > > would be clear that the mike was not
              > > > > right.
              > > > > But when one listens on and on with
              > > > > no measurements, then it can be like
              > > > > remembering colors or pitch(for people
              > > > > without absolute pitch in the strong sense).
              > > > > One can drift somewhat.
              > > > > And usually in audio reviewing the drift
              > > > > has been historically towards more and more
              > > > > high frequency content--because it sounds
              > > > > clearer and more detailed and more "interesting"/
              > > > >
              > > > > I do not like this myself, but a lot of
              > > > > people do drift that way. This came
              > > > > to my mind not just about Mercury
              > > > > but in reading last night(during dog run time)
              > > > > a review of the Lyra Parnassus cartridge.
              > > > > The review begins with a praise of the Clavis
              > > > > (the previous cartridge from the manufacturer),
              > > > > Now I do not know the Parnassus except from
              > > > > a short listening session(I did not like it).
              > > > > But I know for a fact that the Clavis
              > > > > had a 4 dB peak at 11k.
              > > > >
              > > > > This would sound awful--especially with Mercuries
              > > > > actually. But the review did not mention this
              > > > > problem at all, just went on about its clarity
              > > > > and resolution and blah blah blah.
              > > > > And then it went on to say that the Parn. was
              > > > > even better--but it was probably toppy too.
              > > > >
              > > > > Another example is how for years people declared
              > > > > Thiels to be "accurate" rather than euphonic.
              > > > > Well, no one would call them euphonic. But most
              > > > > of them were not accurate at all--they had in
              > > > > most cases a seriously rising top. But hardly
              > > > > anyone noticed.
              > > > >
              > > > > Listening is the ultimate test--but it has
              > > > > to be anchored to standards and direct comparisons.
              > > > >
              > > > > So it has gone all too often
              > > > >
              > > > > REG
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Ken Holder
              ... Well, I ve got that good old Age Related Hearing Loss (ARHL) as well as Age Related Mental Decline (ARMD) and ghodd nose what else. I find I m MORE
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 29, 2013
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                On 4/27/2013 7:10 AM, Peter wrote:
                 
                > And usually in audio reviewing the drift
                has been historically towards more and more
                high frequency content--because it sounds
                clearer and more detailed and more "interesting"/
                And perhaps because it acts as a tone control to compensate for age-related hearing loss?

                Well, I've got that good old Age Related Hearing Loss (ARHL) as well as
                Age Related Mental Decline (ARMD) and ghodd nose what else.

                I find I'm MORE irritated by harsh high-frequency content even though
                I can't hear much above about 10-kHz these days (or maybe my
                headphones I used to test don't go there? -- alas, my Koss ESP-9
                have up and died. I mean, they're only 40 or so years old).

                Screechy violins on recordings drive me crazier than they used
                too.  Perhaps ARMD has something to do with that?

                I dono.

                Ken Holder
                Old guy


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