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Audio quackwatch

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Anonymous
June 25, 2004 1:10:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I wonder if perhaps this can be an ongoing thread, where we post examples
we find online or in the print media, of particularly egregious examples
of audio mythology passed off as fact, by 'experts.

here's my exmaple for today:

http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/062104questions/

//

Home Theater Magazine
June 21 2004

20 Questions for. . .Don Bouchard
By Scott Messler

//

(result of search using the term 'blind' or 'controlled': no results)

//

In a nutshell:

Can you tell us a little about your background?
I started in the specialty A/V business in 1972. Since then, I've worked
for a number of audio companies, including Ohm Acoustics, Dahlquist, and
with Mark Levinson at Cello.

What brought you to Ultralink/XLO?
I had almost made the decision to semi-retire when a mutual friend of mine
and the Ultralink/XLO folks told me that they had something special going
on. He felt we were perfectly suited for each other, and he was right.

When it comes to two of the most controversial aspects of cable
marketing?cable directionality and cable burn-in?are they fact or fiction?
Fact, on both counts. Earlier we talked about copper-oxide impurities at
the juncture between the copper crystals in the matrix and how they have a
tendency to act as little diodes. Diodes pass current better in one
direction than another. This slight polarization characteristic makes the
cables do so, as well. It's subtle but noticeable as a bit more natural
and open sounding. Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way of telling
which direction is the best one in a predictable way on the spool. You
must listen to it?and do so before you mark it for directionality.

//

My favorite part of the article:

* Audio Technical Editor's Note: The scientific community as a whole may
not embrace all of Mr. Bouchard's explanations and conclusions.

--

-S.
Why don't you just admit that you hate music and leave people alone. --
spiffy <thatsright@excite.co>

More about : audio quackwatch

June 25, 2004 10:21:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote in
news:ZqHCc.176173$Ly.121769@attbi_s01:

> I wonder if perhaps this can be an ongoing thread, where we post
> examples we find online or in the print media, of particularly
> egregious examples of audio mythology passed off as fact, by 'experts.
>
>
> here's my exmaple for today:
>
> http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/062104questions/
>
> //
>
> Home Theater Magazine
> June 21 2004
>
> 20 Questions for. . .Don Bouchard
> By Scott Messler
>
> //
>
> (result of search using the term 'blind' or 'controlled': no results)
>
> //
>
> In a nutshell:
>
> Can you tell us a little about your background?
> I started in the specialty A/V business in 1972. Since then, I've
> worked for a number of audio companies, including Ohm Acoustics,
> Dahlquist, and with Mark Levinson at Cello.

In marketing, no doubt.

> What brought you to Ultralink/XLO?
> I had almost made the decision to semi-retire when a mutual friend of
> mine and the Ultralink/XLO folks told me that they had something
> special going on. He felt we were perfectly suited for each other, and
> he was right.
>
> When it comes to two of the most controversial aspects of cable
> marketing?cable directionality and cable burn-in?are they fact or
> fiction? Fact, on both counts. Earlier we talked about copper-oxide
> impurities at the juncture between the copper crystals in the matrix
> and how they have a tendency to act as little diodes. Diodes pass
> current better in one direction than another. This slight polarization
> characteristic makes the cables do so, as well. It's subtle but
> noticeable as a bit more natural and open sounding. Unfortunately,
> there's absolutely no way of telling which direction is the best one
> in a predictable way on the spool. You must listen to it?and do so
> before you mark it for directionality.
>
> //

I wonder if anyone has ever taken the time to explain to cable
directionality advocates, and this bozo in particular, that the signal
presented to the speakers is AC? If his micro-diodes really do exist to
the extent of affecting sound reproduction, reversing the cables would have
no effect.

>
> My favorite part of the article:
>
> * Audio Technical Editor's Note: The scientific community as a whole
> may not embrace all of Mr. Bouchard's explanations and conclusions.
>

Nicely understated.

-- JS
Anonymous
June 25, 2004 10:23:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

And if cables make so much of a difference, why do cable companies make
so many different ones? Can't they tell you ahead of time that one is
made to kill highs or lows if that were truly the case?
If the cable is passing everything, why do they make another style/many
more styles? Wouldn't one, well designed cable work with any piece of
equipment? hmmmm.......
John
Related resources
Anonymous
July 4, 2004 6:58:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue14/modwright999ES...

Steven Sullivan wrote:
> I wonder if perhaps this can be an ongoing thread, where we post examples
> we find online or in the print media, of particularly egregious examples
> of audio mythology passed off as fact, by 'experts.
>
> here's my exmaple for today:
>
> http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/062104questions/
>
> //
>
> Home Theater Magazine
> June 21 2004
>
> 20 Questions for. . .Don Bouchard
> By Scott Messler
>
> //
>
> (result of search using the term 'blind' or 'controlled': no results)
>
> //
>
> In a nutshell:
>
> Can you tell us a little about your background?
> I started in the specialty A/V business in 1972. Since then, I've worked
> for a number of audio companies, including Ohm Acoustics, Dahlquist, and
> with Mark Levinson at Cello.
>
> What brought you to Ultralink/XLO?
> I had almost made the decision to semi-retire when a mutual friend of mine
> and the Ultralink/XLO folks told me that they had something special going
> on. He felt we were perfectly suited for each other, and he was right.
>
> When it comes to two of the most controversial aspects of cable
> marketing?cable directionality and cable burn-in?are they fact or fiction?
> Fact, on both counts. Earlier we talked about copper-oxide impurities at
> the juncture between the copper crystals in the matrix and how they have a
> tendency to act as little diodes. Diodes pass current better in one
> direction than another. This slight polarization characteristic makes the
> cables do so, as well. It's subtle but noticeable as a bit more natural
> and open sounding. Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way of telling
> which direction is the best one in a predictable way on the spool. You
> must listen to it?and do so before you mark it for directionality.
>
> //
>
> My favorite part of the article:
>
> * Audio Technical Editor's Note: The scientific community as a whole may
> not embrace all of Mr. Bouchard's explanations and conclusions.
>
Anonymous
July 5, 2004 9:33:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>"Wayne Van Kirk" <wvk@swbell.net>
> http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue14/modwright999ES...

<A snippet from above link>

Cables are another matter altogether. The unit requires two power cords,
and your choice is key. This must be done by ear, but when it's right
(the most natural and transparent), you'll know.

I guess we shall all have to call our local power companies up and ask
them to demonstrate the sound of the cables run from the generating
station, to the substation, to the transformers on the poles and then on
into our homes. Then we need to call the builders up and ask them to
audition their cable runs inside the house. And would some physicist
please tell those pesky electrons to stop being so noisy!
John
July 7, 2004 11:08:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Midlant wrote:
>> "Wayne Van Kirk" <wvk@swbell.net>
>> http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue14/modwright999ES...
>
> <A snippet from above link>
>
> Cables are another matter altogether. The unit requires two power
> cords, and your choice is key. This must be done by ear, but when
> it's right (the most natural and transparent), you'll know.
>
The most ridiculous thing about these overpriced tweaks is that the mods are
presented as the most economical thing to do and what the competitors do is
at least double the price. How can the interconnects of 250$/metre be a
bargain? Seems a bit high for me.
And when we have reached a transparent reproduction like any decent CD- or
DVD players, what will that tweak do if not worsen the sound? That tube
stage if it is audible at all will certainly introduce distortion that was
not contained in the original data. These Quacks are a nuisance and shame to
the audio-lover because they discredit our beautiful and satisfying hobby,
and make a laughing stock out of misguided colleagues.
--
ciao Ban
Bordighera, Italy
Anonymous
July 8, 2004 6:38:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"I’ve heard $2000 speakers with off-the-rack wires that sounded worse
than little $100 Radio Shacks with good cables. Twenty years of striving
to make perfect-sounding recordings has taught me that WIRE IS A
COMPONENT JUST AS CRUCIAL AS SPEAKERS OR AMPS."

http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/speakercable.ph...

WVK
Anonymous
July 9, 2004 7:18:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <ccjm8m026ko@news3.newsguy.com>,
Wayne Van Kirk <wvk@swbell.net> wrote:

> "IÂ’ve heard $2000 speakers with off-the-rack wires that sounded worse
> than little $100 Radio Shacks with good cables. Twenty years of striving
> to make perfect-sounding recordings has taught me that WIRE IS A
> COMPONENT JUST AS CRUCIAL AS SPEAKERS OR AMPS."
>
> http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/speakercable.ph...

Looks like a personal opinion to me, and, until wireless speakers become
common, he's correct in as much as wires are required for audio. It's
also conceivable that there are $2000 speakers bad enough or sensitive
enough to wire that an LX4 might be preferable.

That said, I don't think I'll buy any of his wires, although his
recordings are said to be good for sound quality.

Stephen
Anonymous
July 9, 2004 7:41:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 8 Jul 2004 14:38:14 GMT, in article <ccjm8m026ko@news3.newsguy.com>, Wayne
Van Kirk stated:
>
>"IÂ’ve heard $2000 speakers with off-the-rack wires that sounded worse
>than little $100 Radio Shacks with good cables. Twenty years of striving
>to make perfect-sounding recordings has taught me that WIRE IS A
>COMPONENT JUST AS CRUCIAL AS SPEAKERS OR AMPS."
>
>http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/speakercable.ph...
>
>WVK

Silly, yes, but they sell very nice amp stands at a reasonable price.

And they are a pleasure to deal with.
Anonymous
July 9, 2004 6:50:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 7/8/04 11:18 PM, in article N7oHc.50741$Oq2.19183@attbi_s52, "MINe 109"
<smcatut@mail.utexas.edu> wrote:

> In article <ccjm8m026ko@news3.newsguy.com>,
> Wayne Van Kirk <wvk@swbell.net> wrote:
>
>> "IÂ’ve heard $2000 speakers with off-the-rack wires that sounded worse
>> than little $100 Radio Shacks with good cables. Twenty years of striving
>> to make perfect-sounding recordings has taught me that WIRE IS A
>> COMPONENT JUST AS CRUCIAL AS SPEAKERS OR AMPS."
>>
>> http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/tweaks/speakercable.ph...
>
> Looks like a personal opinion to me, and, until wireless speakers become
> common, he's correct in as much as wires are required for audio. It's
> also conceivable that there are $2000 speakers bad enough or sensitive
> enough to wire that an LX4 might be preferable.
>
> That said, I don't think I'll buy any of his wires, although his
> recordings are said to be good for sound quality.

Also it might be noted that room acoustics really *do* make a measurable and
real difference in reproducing sound - might be good to treat the room
before buying kilobuck wires -- you might find there is no need!
Anonymous
July 12, 2004 6:10:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

The Beak:

"The 'Beak' was developed to control parasitic vibrations that occur on
top of a speaker cabinet. These resonances actually interfere with
speaker performance, specifically the lobbing action in tweeters.
Implementing a Beak on any speaker; can actually control and provide a
better interaction between speaker, tweeter and housing"

http://www.gcaudio.com/products/reviews/infototem.html

"Now let's talk about the Beaks.
Vincent Bruzzese says that the design of the Beaks was determined
with the help of a mainframe computer, and that every aspect of it (the
cutout on the underside and the fine grooves milled into the surface)
must be exactly the way they are. He adds that actual frequency
measurements have been run on speakers with and without Beaks, but he
has supplied neither the methodology nor the actual measurements. The
Beak is meant to be at once a resonator (the air space trapped under the
device) and--if we understand correctly--a diffraction device. It is
claimed that it improves the bottom end, and it also allows the tweeter
to go higher more linearly. How it does this is, for the moment,
anyone's guess,"

http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue56/Forest.html

WVK
Anonymous
July 18, 2004 6:50:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Wayne Van Kirk <wvk@swbell.net> wrote in news:cqmIc.58235$MB3.52570
@attbi_s04:

> The Beak:
>
> "The 'Beak' was developed to control parasitic vibrations that occur on
> top of a speaker cabinet. These resonances actually interfere with
> speaker performance, specifically the lobbing action in tweeters.
> Implementing a Beak on any speaker; can actually control and provide a
> better interaction between speaker, tweeter and housing"
>
> http://www.gcaudio.com/products/reviews/infototem.html
>
> "Now let's talk about the Beaks.
> Vincent Bruzzese says that the design of the Beaks was determined
> with the help of a mainframe computer, and that every aspect of it (the
> cutout on the underside and the fine grooves milled into the surface)
> must be exactly the way they are. He adds that actual frequency
> measurements have been run on speakers with and without Beaks, but he
> has supplied neither the methodology nor the actual measurements. The
> Beak is meant to be at once a resonator (the air space trapped under the
> device) and--if we understand correctly--a diffraction device. It is
> claimed that it improves the bottom end, and it also allows the tweeter
> to go higher more linearly. How it does this is, for the moment,
> anyone's guess,"
>
> http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue56/Forest.html
>
> WVK
>
>

I think someone's phase plug fell off and they didn't know where it was
supposed to go.

r

--
Nothing beats the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with DLT tapes.
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 8:05:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

today's entries....

Mark Levinson is at it again, promoting his quack 'CDs hurt you' claim.
In the current TAS, there's a roundtable forum on SACD and DVD-A (guess what -- they're
*almost* as good as LP!) between Levinson, Valin, Pearson, and poor Doug Sax, who has to bear the
entire weight for the sane/sensible faction (he's the only one who sticks up for CD, and happily,
he makes the point very early on that analog *definitely* sounds different from the real thing).
Levinson at one point claims that PCM 'causes listener stress and confusion. Its' not an opinoin,
it's a physiological fact'.

No one calls him on this.

Valin also opines that he hears digital recordings as 'discontinuous' -- it sounds like 'steps'.
Whereas LPs, of course , sounds like 'waves'.

Similary, it is claimed (by Sax, unfortunately) that analog beats digital because it has 'at least
an octave' over CD, and a better noise floor. I presume he is comparing 1/4 inch tape to CD -- that
is, production analog to final product (Redbook 16/44) digital -- not LP to CD, or p[roduction
digital to production analog, but that's not clarified.

That said, I've also encountered this 'analog stomps digital' recently in another forum, this time
the claim not being restricted to Redbook, to wit:

"Well, in practice they aren't. The
best analog electronics money can
build or buy is light years ahead
of the best digital electronics
money can build or buy." - Dan Koren


Comments? I can't say I'm up on what
'the best analog electronics money can buy'
buys you these days, so perhaps others
here can educate me on the truth value
of Mr. Koren's statement. (Just on the
production side, I asked him how the very best
analog compares, measurably if not audibly,
to the best digital, in terms of
pitch stability and 'flutter'. No reply
so far.)







--

-S.
"We started to see evidence of the professional groupie in the early 80's.
Alarmingly, these girls bore a striking resemblance to Motley Crue." --
David Lee Roth
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 2:57:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
news:cfs06v015vm@news3.newsguy.com...
> today's entries....
>
> Mark Levinson is at it again, promoting his quack 'CDs hurt you' claim.
> In the current TAS, there's a roundtable forum on SACD and DVD-A (guess
what -- they're
> *almost* as good as LP!) between Levinson, Valin, Pearson, and poor Doug
Sax, who has to bear the
> entire weight for the sane/sensible faction (he's the only one who sticks
up for CD, and happily,
> he makes the point very early on that analog *definitely* sounds different
from the real thing).
> Levinson at one point claims that PCM 'causes listener stress and
confusion. Its' not an opinoin,
> it's a physiological fact'.
>
> No one calls him on this.
>
> Valin also opines that he hears digital recordings as 'discontinuous' --
it sounds like 'steps'.
> Whereas LPs, of course , sounds like 'waves'.
>
> Similary, it is claimed (by Sax, unfortunately) that analog beats digital
because it has 'at least
> an octave' over CD, and a better noise floor. I presume he is comparing
1/4 inch tape to CD -- that
> is, production analog to final product (Redbook 16/44) digital -- not LP
to CD, or p[roduction
> digital to production analog, but that's not clarified.
>
> That said, I've also encountered this 'analog stomps digital' recently in
another forum, this time
> the claim not being restricted to Redbook, to wit:
>
> "Well, in practice they aren't. The
> best analog electronics money can
> build or buy is light years ahead
> of the best digital electronics
> money can build or buy." - Dan Koren
>
>
> Comments? I can't say I'm up on what
> 'the best analog electronics money can buy'
> buys you these days, so perhaps others
> here can educate me on the truth value
> of Mr. Koren's statement. (Just on the
> production side, I asked him how the very best
> analog compares, measurably if not audibly,
> to the best digital, in terms of
> pitch stability and 'flutter'. No reply
> so far.)
>
>

Whatever your views, the article is worth reading simply for its provocative
thoughts. Among Sax's observations / opinions:

1) analog tape definitely colors the sound, but its distortions are euphonic
and actually "improve" the sound to some ears.

2) pcm is "fragile"...everything has to be right but at 96/24 its
first-generation sound is "very good, very good". However, any distortion
introduced into the digital process is negative...non-euphonic.

3) there is a large difference between a first generation digital source and
the production version..he calls "a great lie" the assertion that digital
copies sound like the original. He says flat out "they do not". Despite
that, he says that he has heard some CD's that sound "very, very good".

4) he prefers SACD as a medium, but for practical reasons as opposed to its
sound, which he considers different from (but not better than) PCM. He does
concur that the differences make it sound "more analog like" and "more
forgiving" (as opposed to PCM's "fragility") in creating a reproduction
medium.

5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very dangerous".
If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the component under
test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months" to discover
if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".

5) on records - "everything you measure about the disk is worse, except that
it has very good phase relationships."

6) (perhaps his most controversial and far-out comment, but one his
experience as a "cutter" certainly should give him experience with) "I could
consistently take a very good tape and cut it in a certain spot of the disk
only, and A/B the tape to the disc, and the disc always sounded better." He
goes on to postulate that the mechanical action of the cutting/cartridge
playback "predigests" the sound to mechanical parameters so the speaker has
an easier time handling it.

7) finally, he talks about multi-track tape being the industry's preferred
storage format for multichannel hi-res, since it can be used easily to put
into any digital multichannel format (PCM, SACD, DD, DTS, etc). When asked
what the prevailing view in the industry is towards storing on tape, he says
"It's excellent. Analog tape is high resolution, which means two things.
One, the extended bandwidth over a conventional CD....and, two, more
low-level performance than a conventional CD." (Note to Steve's point
above...his comparison in defining tape's hi-rez is to conventional CD, not
to high-rez PCM or SACD.)
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 3:07:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 8/17/04 12:05 AM, in article cfs06v015vm@news3.newsguy.com, "Steven
Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

> today's entries....
>
> Mark Levinson is at it again, promoting his quack 'CDs hurt you' claim.
> In the current TAS, there's a roundtable forum on SACD and DVD-A (guess what
> -- they're
> *almost* as good as LP!) between Levinson, Valin, Pearson, and poor Doug Sax,
> who has to bear the
> entire weight for the sane/sensible faction (he's the only one who sticks up
> for CD, and happily,
> he makes the point very early on that analog *definitely* sounds different
> from the real thing).
> Levinson at one point claims that PCM 'causes listener stress and confusion.
> Its' not an opinoin,
> it's a physiological fact'.
>
> No one calls him on this.

Well, you just did. IN a public forum that goes around the world. It is a
silly comment he made - though I would say that an overly bright sound does
make my jaw tighten, but u CD player and setup does not sound overly bright.

> Valin also opines that he hears digital recordings as 'discontinuous' -- it
> sounds like 'steps'.
> Whereas LPs, of course , sounds like 'waves'.

I hate when people speculate about that sort of thing! :-)
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 7:49:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

B&D <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote in news:cfu33o0si6@news4.newsguy.com:

> On 8/17/04 12:05 AM, in article cfs06v015vm@news3.newsguy.com, "Steven
> Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote:
>
>> today's entries....
>>
>> Mark Levinson is at it again, promoting his quack 'CDs hurt you' claim.
>> In the current TAS, there's a roundtable forum on SACD and DVD-A
(guess what
>> -- they're
>> *almost* as good as LP!) between Levinson, Valin, Pearson, and poor
Doug Sax,
>> who has to bear the
>> entire weight for the sane/sensible faction (he's the only one who
sticks up
>> for CD, and happily,
>> he makes the point very early on that analog *definitely* sounds
different
>> from the real thing).
>> Levinson at one point claims that PCM 'causes listener stress and
confusion.
>> Its' not an opinoin,
>> it's a physiological fact'.
>>
>> No one calls him on this.
>
> Well, you just did. IN a public forum that goes around the world. It
is a
> silly comment he made - though I would say that an overly bright sound
does
> make my jaw tighten, but u CD player and setup does not sound overly
bright.
>
>> Valin also opines that he hears digital recordings as
'discontinuous' -- it
>> sounds like 'steps'.
>> Whereas LPs, of course , sounds like 'waves'.
>
> I hate when people speculate about that sort of thing! :-)
>

The part that I noticed about the article is that every time Levinson says
something a bit off, the other people either ignore it and continue as if
he didn't say anything, or change the subject.

I did like the part about steps. It sure gave me a chuckle.

r


--
Nothing beats the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with DLT tapes.
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 7:50:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:

>Whatever your views, the article is worth reading simply for its provocative
>thoughts. Among Sax's observations / opinions:
>

....snip to specific comment.....

5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very dangerous".
>If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the component under
>test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months" to discover
>if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".

Apparently you agree with this idea. My question is exactly how does the sound
of a component or medium change while you "live with it for several months"?

I can understand how operating functions or quirks might become familiar over
time and with usage and training. But how does the "sound" referenced to live
acoustical performance manage to change or adjust itself over time?

In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a system
seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to a live
acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener re-adjusting
his internal bias.
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 6:44:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Nousaine" <nousaine@aol.com> wrote in message
news:cfujm801e00@news4.newsguy.com...
> "Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:
>
> >Whatever your views, the article is worth reading simply for its
provocative
> >thoughts. Among Sax's observations / opinions:
> >
>
> ...snip to specific comment.....
>
> 5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very dangerous".
> >If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the component under
> >test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months" to
discover
> >if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".
>
> Apparently you agree with this idea. My question is exactly how does the
sound
> of a component or medium change while you "live with it for several
months"?
>
> I can understand how operating functions or quirks might become familiar
over
> time and with usage and training. But how does the "sound" referenced to
live
> acoustical performance manage to change or adjust itself over time?
>
> In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a
system
> seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to a
live
> acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
re-adjusting
> his internal bias.

Did I say I agreed with this? Where in my post? I simply reported what Mr.
Sax said. Some I may agree with; some I may not. This is simply an attempt
on your part to draw me into an argument; I pass.
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 8:37:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message news:<cfs06v015vm@news3.newsguy.com>...
> today's entries....
>
>
> Similary, it is claimed (by Sax, unfortunately) that analog beats digital because it has 'at least
> an octave' over CD, and a better noise floor. I presume he is comparing 1/4 inch tape to CD -- that
> is, production analog to final product (Redbook 16/44) digital -- not LP to CD, or p[roduction
> digital to production analog, but that's not clarified.
>


Well, I don't know what planet Doug gets his analog tape decks from,
but I've never encountered a 1/4" *or* 1/2" machine with a "better"
noise floor than Red Book CD.

But he's right about the extra octave, that's just a given. The issue
is whether or not this extra octave+ is audible to humans...or audible
beneath that aforementioned analog noise floor!
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 8:42:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:

>> In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a
> system
>> seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to a
> live
>> acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
> re-adjusting
>> his internal bias.
>
> Did I say I agreed with this?  Where in my post?  I simply reported what
> Mr. Sax said.  Some I may agree with; some I may not.  This is simply an
> attempt on your part to draw me into an argument; I pass.
I have to say it takes 'chutzpah' to call Doug Sax a quack..

-- Richard
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 9:17:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:



>"Nousaine" <nousaine@aol.com> wrote in message
>news:cfujm801e00@news4.newsguy.com...
>> "Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:
>>
>> >Whatever your views, the article is worth reading simply for its
>provocative
>> >thoughts. Among Sax's observations / opinions:
>> >
>>
>> ...snip to specific comment.....
>>
>> 5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very dangerous".
>> >If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the component under
>> >test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months" to
>discover
>> >if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".
>>
>> Apparently you agree with this idea. My question is exactly how does the
>sound
>> of a component or medium change while you "live with it for several
>months"?
>>
>> I can understand how operating functions or quirks might become familiar
>over
>> time and with usage and training. But how does the "sound" referenced to
>live
>> acoustical performance manage to change or adjust itself over time?
>>
>> In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a
>system
>> seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to a
>live
>> acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
>re-adjusting
>> his internal bias.
>
>Did I say I agreed with this? Where in my post? I simply reported what Mr.
>Sax said. Some I may agree with; some I may not. This is simply an attempt
>on your part to draw me into an argument; I pass.

Oh so you don't agree. That's good. This is another of those Urban Legends that
is often heard and re-quoted without any evidentiary support whatever. This
kind of high-end bluster leads one to question much of the other stuff Sax says
as well.
Anonymous
August 18, 2004 10:19:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Richard Dale <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Harry Lavo wrote:

> >> In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a
> > system
> >> seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to a
> > live
> >> acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
> > re-adjusting
> >> his internal bias.
> >
> > Did I say I agreed with this???Where?in?my?post???I?simply?reported?what
> > Mr. Sax said.??Some?I?may?agree?with;?some?I?may?not.??This?is?simply?an
> > attempt on your part to draw me into an argument; I pass.
> I have to say it takes 'chutzpah' to call Doug Sax a quack..

Even a seasoned pro can emit the occasional quack now and then.
At this point I'm quite used to noted recording engineers making
'i hear it therefore it is true' claims.

But as I said in the first post, if you had to pick 'one of these
is not like the other' for that particular collection of audiophiles,
it would be Sax. he was by far the most sympathetic to digital
in general and redbook in particular (though Pearson also chimed
in that he's heard some astonishginly good 16/44 -- how big of him!)



--

-S.
"We started to see evidence of the professional groupie in the early 80's.
Alarmingly, these girls bore a striking resemblance to Motley Crue." --
David Lee Roth
Anonymous
August 19, 2004 12:10:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Steven Sullivan wrote:

> Even a seasoned pro can emit the occasional quack now and then.
> At this point I'm quite used to noted recording engineers making
> 'i hear it therefore it is true' claims.
>
Excuse me if I've lost the plot, but isn't that what they're paid to do?
Their work stand or falls by how good it sounds on the end user delivery
medium. Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a Doug
Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
business for over 30 years, why is that?

-- Richard
Anonymous
August 19, 2004 4:57:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Richard Dale <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Steven Sullivan wrote:

> > Even a seasoned pro can emit the occasional quack now and then.
> > At this point I'm quite used to noted recording engineers making
> > 'i hear it therefore it is true' claims.
> >
> Excuse me if I've lost the plot, but isn't that what they're paid to do?

Indeed.

> Their work stand or falls by how good it sounds on the end user delivery
> medium.

True. But their claims about audible difference do not.

> Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
> my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a Doug
> Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
> business for over 30 years, why is that?

So, business longevity means what what they say about audio is true?
Interesting idea.

Do you understand why and how Doug Sax or Mark Levinson could be *utterly wrong*
about , say, the physiological effects of PCM, or the degradative effects of
digital copying, and *still* produce good-sounding product?


--

-S.
"We started to see evidence of the professional groupie in the early 80's.
Alarmingly, these girls bore a striking resemblance to Motley Crue." --
David Lee Roth
Anonymous
August 19, 2004 5:00:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Nousaine" <nousaine@aol.com> wrote in message
news:cg03040aj3@news4.newsguy.com...
> "Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:
>
>
>
> >"Nousaine" <nousaine@aol.com> wrote in message
> >news:cfujm801e00@news4.newsguy.com...
> >> "Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:
> >>
> >> >Whatever your views, the article is worth reading simply for its
> >provocative
> >> >thoughts. Among Sax's observations / opinions:
> >> >
> >>
> >> ...snip to specific comment.....
> >>
> >> 5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very
dangerous".
> >> >If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the component
under
> >> >test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months" to
> >discover
> >> >if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".
> >>
> >> Apparently you agree with this idea. My question is exactly how does
the
> >sound
> >> of a component or medium change while you "live with it for several
> >months"?
> >>
> >> I can understand how operating functions or quirks might become
familiar
> >over
> >> time and with usage and training. But how does the "sound" referenced
to
> >live
> >> acoustical performance manage to change or adjust itself over time?
> >>
> >> In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a
> >system
> >> seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to
a
> >live
> >> acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
> >re-adjusting
> >> his internal bias.
> >
> >Did I say I agreed with this? Where in my post? I simply reported what
Mr.
> >Sax said. Some I may agree with; some I may not. This is simply an
attempt
> >on your part to draw me into an argument; I pass.
>
> Oh so you don't agree. That's good. This is another of those Urban Legends
that
> is often heard and re-quoted without any evidentiary support whatever.
This
> kind of high-end bluster leads one to question much of the other stuff Sax
says
> as well.

Can you respond without putting words into my mouth? Did I say I disagreed?
Where in the original post or the followup? Here is the only thing I said:
"I simply reported what Mr. Sax said." What part of that do you not
understand?
Anonymous
August 19, 2004 5:00:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 8/18/04 2:19 PM, in article cg06k1090l@news2.newsguy.com, "Steven
Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

> Even a seasoned pro can emit the occasional quack now and then.
> At this point I'm quite used to noted recording engineers making
> 'i hear it therefore it is true' claims.
>
> But as I said in the first post, if you had to pick 'one of these
> is not like the other' for that particular collection of audiophiles,
> it would be Sax. he was by far the most sympathetic to digital
> in general and redbook in particular (though Pearson also chimed
> in that he's heard some astonishginly good 16/44 -- how big of him!)

But the end goal of recording is to have something that sounds good - as is
the goal in amplifier design.

I have heard some wonderful CD's - and own a few in my collection. Nothing
wrong with the medium. There are better ones out there - but CD is pretty
darn good - convenient and usually inexpensive compared to the alternatives.
Anonymous
August 19, 2004 5:01:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 8/17/04 11:50 PM, in article cfujm801e00@news4.newsguy.com, "Nousaine"
<nousaine@aol.com> wrote:

> 5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very dangerous".
>> If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the component under
>> test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months" to discover
>> if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".
>
> Apparently you agree with this idea. My question is exactly how does the sound
> of a component or medium change while you "live with it for several months"?

Actually - I don't think the components age/break-in, but I have found that
listening to a CD player, for instance, you get to play a variety of your
music on it without bad time limits, and you can measure how much you want
to listen to music - and which music.

I have found with familiarity, I will listen to how a piece of equipment
brings out the music - the detail and enjoyment isn't always obvious at
first blush.

Kind of like cars, really, you have an idea it is the good car, but you
won't KNOW until you have about 5-10k on the odo...
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 3:28:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Richard Dale" <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:cg0d4i0fv6@news2.newsguy.com...
> Steven Sullivan wrote:
>
> > Even a seasoned pro can emit the occasional quack now and then.
> > At this point I'm quite used to noted recording engineers making
> > 'i hear it therefore it is true' claims.
> >
> Excuse me if I've lost the plot, but isn't that what they're paid to do?
> Their work stand or falls by how good it sounds on the end user delivery
> medium. Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
> my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a Doug
> Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
> business for over 30 years, why is that?
>
The answer is both simple and a medical fact of life. Neither of them
possess the hearing acuity they had 30 years ago and are probably fortunate
that they can engage in social conversation without a hearing aid. This goes
equally well for Harry Pearson or *anyone* their age (like myself).


Enough said?
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 3:36:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

B&D wrote:

> Kind of like cars, really, you have an idea it is the good car, but you
> won't KNOW until you have about 5-10k on the odo...

Well......... Last time I had the benefit of checking - cars at least do actually
'run in'. The engine and probably transmission too, 'loosen up' with the result of
less friction and higher performance peaking after around 10k miles.


Graham
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 4:19:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Steven Sullivan wrote:

> Richard Dale <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> Steven Sullivan wrote:
>
>> > Even a seasoned pro can emit the occasional quack now and then.
>> > At this point I'm quite used to noted recording engineers making
>> > 'i hear it therefore it is true' claims.
>> >
>> Excuse me if I've lost the plot, but isn't that what they're paid to do?
>
> Indeed.
>
>> Their work stand or falls by how good it sounds on the end user delivery
>> medium.
>
> True. But their claims about audible difference do not.
>
>> Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
>> my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a Doug
>> Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
>> business for over 30 years, why is that?
>
> So, business longevity means what what they say about audio is true?
> Interesting idea.
Well if they had been making a living as pig farmers for the past 30 years,
then yes indeed it would be just an 'interesting idea'.

However, Doug Sax has been mastering music in various formats, including 16
bit PCM, and people just kept coming back to him for all this time. Why is
that?

Mark Levinson has started several companies making High End
audio/professional equipment. The current company called 'Mark Levinson' is
so impressed with the name that they keep using it, even though the man no
longer has any association with them. Why is that?

>
> Do you understand why and how Doug Sax or Mark Levinson could be *utterly
> wrong* about , say, the physiological effects of PCM, or the degradative
> effects of digital copying, and *still* produce good-sounding product?
No, not really.
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 4:20:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Richard Dale" <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:cg00t3079q@news4.newsguy.com...
> Harry Lavo wrote:
>
> >> In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound
quality of a
> > system
> >> seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time
(compared to a
> > live
> >> acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
> > re-adjusting
> >> his internal bias.
> >
> > Did I say I agreed with this? Where in my post? I simply reported
what
> > Mr. Sax said. Some I may agree with; some I may not. This is
simply an
> > attempt on your part to draw me into an argument; I pass.
> I have to say it takes 'chutzpah' to call Doug Sax a quack..

Bring me up to speed here. Who is Doug Sax, and how did he gain guru
status?

Norm Strong
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 4:21:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:cg0u2m01kc4@news3.newsguy.com...
>
> Can you respond without putting words into my mouth? Did I say I
disagreed?
> Where in the original post or the followup? Here is the only thing
I said:
> "I simply reported what Mr. Sax said." What part of that do you
not
> understand?

When you quote someone without comment, you are inferring that you
agree with that quote. Barry Goldwater did it back in 1964 when he
said that "some have suggested sealing off the (Vietnam) border with
low yield nuclear weapons." His failure to say otherwise means that
he is at least sympathetic to that point of view. When politicians do
this it's called a "trial balloon". The hope is that, if and when
the balloon is shot out of the sky, the politician can point out that
he never advocated this action.

Norm Strong
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 4:22:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>From: nousaine@aol.com (Nousaine)
>Date: 8/17/2004 8:50 PM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <cfujm801e00@news4.newsguy.com>
>
> "Harry Lavo" harry.lavo@rcn.com wrote:
>
>>Whatever your views, the article is worth reading simply for its provocative
>>thoughts. Among Sax's observations / opinions:
>>
>
>...snip to specific comment.....
>
>5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very dangerous".
>>If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the component under
>>test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months" to discover
>>if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".
>
>Apparently you agree with this idea. My question is exactly how does the
>sound
>of a component or medium change while you "live with it for several months"?

It is a question built on a false premise. Sax does not claim the sound will
change.


>
>I can understand how operating functions or quirks might become familiar over
>time and with usage and training. But how does the "sound" referenced to live
>acoustical performance manage to change or adjust itself over time?

Again, your question is based on a false premise. When audiophiles take home a
new piece of gear they are not likely to have a practical live reference to use
as a standard.


>
>In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a
>system
>seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to a
>live
>acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
>re-adjusting
>his internal bias.

Not everyone agrees with you. Some experienced listeners feel they need more
time to get the full effect and digest it's merits.
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 4:23:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Actually, components do age and "break-in", whether they are
electronic as in a CD player or mechanical as in an automobile engine.
It is a physical process and many experienced listeners and drivers
can attest to each.
Whether you can tell when this occurs is another matter, but I would
not be fooled into thinking that you could not simply by the
suggestion of someone else. Nor would I be by the notion that it does
not occur, which is just silly.
-Bill
www.uptownaudio.com
Roanoke VA
(540) 343-1250

"B&D" <bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:cg0u5g01kf1@news3.newsguy.com...
> On 8/17/04 11:50 PM, in article cfujm801e00@news4.newsguy.com,
"Nousaine"
> <nousaine@aol.com> wrote:
>
> > 5) his take on A/B tests....he tells students that it is "very
dangerous".
> >> If the A/B "always" turns out bad, you can throw out the
component under
> >> test. Otherwise, you have to "live with it for several months"
to discover
> >> if it "gives you the satisfaction that should be there".
> >
> > Apparently you agree with this idea. My question is exactly how
does the sound
> > of a component or medium change while you "live with it for
several months"?
>
> Actually - I don't think the components age/break-in, but I have
found that
> listening to a CD player, for instance, you get to play a variety of
your
> music on it without bad time limits, and you can measure how much
you want
> to listen to music - and which music.
>
> I have found with familiarity, I will listen to how a piece of
equipment
> brings out the music - the detail and enjoyment isn't always obvious
at
> first blush.
>
> Kind of like cars, really, you have an idea it is the good car, but
you
> won't KNOW until you have about 5-10k on the odo...
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 4:26:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 19 Aug 2004 23:28:48 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
<NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Enough said?

I am not defending anyone mentioned but the major loss with age and
exposure is not acuity but threshhold, beginning at the higher
frequencies. Mostly, these guys simply have to listen louder.

Kal
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 7:17:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"normanstrong" <normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:cg3g5o01apb@news2.newsguy.com...
> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> news:cg0u2m01kc4@news3.newsguy.com...
> >
> > Can you respond without putting words into my mouth? Did I say I
> disagreed?
> > Where in the original post or the followup? Here is the only thing
> I said:
> > "I simply reported what Mr. Sax said." What part of that do you
> not
> > understand?
>
> When you quote someone without comment, you are inferring that you
> agree with that quote. Barry Goldwater did it back in 1964 when he
> said that "some have suggested sealing off the (Vietnam) border with
> low yield nuclear weapons." His failure to say otherwise means that
> he is at least sympathetic to that point of view. When politicians do
> this it's called a "trial balloon". The hope is that, if and when
> the balloon is shot out of the sky, the politician can point out that
> he never advocated this action.
>

Boy, that's news to me. As I said, some of what Mr. Sax said I agree with;
some I don't. I simply was amplifying my comment that it was a provacative
article by including more of what Mr. Sax said than did the original post.
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 7:18:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 8/19/04 8:23 PM, in article cg3g9q01asc@news2.newsguy.com, "Uptown Audio"
<uptownaudio@rev.net> wrote:

> Actually, components do age and "break-in", whether they are
> electronic as in a CD player or mechanical as in an automobile engine.
> It is a physical process and many experienced listeners and drivers
> can attest to each.
> Whether you can tell when this occurs is another matter, but I would
> not be fooled into thinking that you could not simply by the
> suggestion of someone else. Nor would I be by the notion that it does
> not occur, which is just silly.

Bipolar Transistors do take a set after time (I *think* the hFE changes a
bit). I have no idea if it has impact sonically, though....
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 7:18:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Norman Schwartz wrote:

> The answer is both simple and a medical fact of life. Neither of them
> possess the hearing acuity they had 30 years ago and are probably fortunate
> that they can engage in social conversation without a hearing aid. This goes
> equally well for Harry Pearson or *anyone* their age (like myself).
>
>
> Enough said?
======================================

Only if you can get Harry to admit it. <G>

-GP
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 3:25:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
news:cg3gg901b6j@news2.newsguy.com...
> On 19 Aug 2004 23:28:48 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
> <NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >Enough said?
>
> I am not defending anyone mentioned but the major loss with age and
> exposure is not acuity but threshhold, beginning at the higher
> frequencies. Mostly, these guys simply have to listen louder.
>
OK Listen louder to be able hear the higher frequencies, maybe, then what
happens to the lower frequencies?, speaking relatively of course and what
way is this to pass judgment on The Abso!ute Sound? I'd think you would
require some type of equalization, and it is more than time to head out to
pasture, but certainly young people shouldn't take seriously old farts'
audio opinions. (Not to say that they could have been taken seriously when
they were young farts.)
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 7:00:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Richard Dale <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Steven Sullivan wrote:
> >> Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
> >> my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a Doug
> >> Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
> >> business for over 30 years, why is that?
> >
> > So, business longevity means what what they say about audio is true?
> > Interesting idea.
> Well if they had been making a living as pig farmers for the past 30 years,
> then yes indeed it would be just an 'interesting idea'.

So, if a pig farmer of 30 years experience said pigs didn't evolve,
should we believe him? He is, after all, talking about pigs.


> However, Doug Sax has been mastering music in various formats, including 16
> bit PCM, and people just kept coming back to him for all this time. Why is
> that?

Because there's a plethora of choices that a mastering engineer
makes in the course of a project, that will *certainly* change the sound.
But it doesn't mean that every belief he holds
that something affects the sound, is necessarily true.


> Mark Levinson has started several companies making High End
> audio/professional equipment. The current company called 'Mark Levinson' is
> so impressed with the name that they keep using it, even though the man no
> longer has any association with them. Why is that?

Branding certainly has its uses.

> >
> > Do you understand why and how Doug Sax or Mark Levinson could be *utterly
> > wrong* about , say, the physiological effects of PCM, or the degradative
> > effects of digital copying, and *still* produce good-sounding product?
> No, not really.


Suppose a mastering engineer holds a questionable belief about the
audible effect
of something, that in fact is a superstition -- in fact, it has no
audible effect whatever. What will be the effect of holding this belief
have on the *sound* of his products? Answer: no effect whatever.
Meanwhile, he holds another belief, about the audible effect of
something else, and this one turns out to be true. The sonic
results of his work are due to the effects of *those* beliefs.

What makes one belief 'dubious' and the other not? There are
many, many choices a mastering engineer makes that no one
would question can make an audible difference to the result:
EQ curves, how much noise reduction to use, which source tapes
to use, preference for some analog equipment in the chain,
which monitors to use, etc. Mr. Sax would have an easy time
demonstarting objectively that these makes audible differences.
So easy, taht few if any would challenge him to do so on a
scientific basis.

Then there are those that at present
have little basis in hard science. That digital copies are necessarily
audibly degraded compared to
their originals, is one of those, alas. Such claims
require more than anecdotal proof, from *anyone*.

The error is to infer from a talent at making the non-dubious choices,
that the engineer must also be correct in *all* his beliefs about sound.

--


-S.
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 9:31:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>Subject: Re: Audio quackwatch
>From: Steven Sullivan ssully@panix.com
>Date: 8/21/2004 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <cg7o2s01f86@news1.newsguy.com>
>
>Richard Dale <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> Steven Sullivan wrote:
>> >> Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
>> >> my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a
>Doug
>> >> Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
>> >> business for over 30 years, why is that?
>> >
>> > So, business longevity means what what they say about audio is true?
>> > Interesting idea.
>> Well if they had been making a living as pig farmers for the past 30 years,
>> then yes indeed it would be just an 'interesting idea'.
>
>So, if a pig farmer of 30 years experience said pigs didn't evolve,
>should we believe him? He is, after all, talking about pigs.
>
>
>> However, Doug Sax has been mastering music in various formats, including 16
>> bit PCM, and people just kept coming back to him for all this time. Why is
>> that?
>
> Because there's a plethora of choices that a mastering engineer
> makes in the course of a project, that will *certainly* change the sound.
> But it doesn't mean that every belief he holds
> that something affects the sound, is necessarily true.

Unfortunately your analogies simply don't hold water. A pig farmer's success in
decision making does not depend on his beliefs in evolution. A mastering
engineer's success does depend on his ability to make decisons based on his or
her ability to discern what they are hearing.
>
>
>> Mark Levinson has started several companies making High End
>> audio/professional equipment. The current company called 'Mark Levinson' is
>> so impressed with the name that they keep using it, even though the man no
>> longer has any association with them. Why is that?
>
> Branding certainly has its uses.
>
>> >
>> > Do you understand why and how Doug Sax or Mark Levinson could be *utterly
>> > wrong* about , say, the physiological effects of PCM, or the degradative
>> > effects of digital copying, and *still* produce good-sounding product?
>> No, not really.
>
>
> Suppose a mastering engineer holds a questionable belief about the
>audible effect
> of something, that in fact is a superstition -- in fact, it has no
> audible effect whatever. What will be the effect of holding this belief
> have on the *sound* of his products? Answer: no effect whatever.
> Meanwhile, he holds another belief, about the audible effect of
> something else, and this one turns out to be true. The sonic
> results of his work are due to the effects of *those* beliefs.

If he believes that things are making a difference which in fact are not. His
ability to judge by ear is more suspect than another mastering engineer who is
not making such mistakes. People who make decisions by ear on a daily basis and
are good at it should be less likely to make such mistakes than the average
person.


>
> What makes one belief 'dubious' and the other not? There are
> many, many choices a mastering engineer makes that no one
> would question can make an audible difference to the result:

But one could and should question the quality of the choice.


> EQ curves, how much noise reduction to use, which source tapes
> to use, preference for some analog equipment in the chain,
> which monitors to use, etc. Mr. Sax would have an easy time
> demonstarting objectively that these makes audible differences.

He has had a lifetime of work to show he is a good decision maker. That has to
start with a perceptive ear/brain reciever.


> So easy, taht few if any would challenge him to do so on a
> scientific basis.
>
> Then there are those that at present
> have little basis in hard science. That digital copies are necessarily
> audibly degraded compared to
> their originals, is one of those, alas. Such claims
> require more than anecdotal proof, from *anyone*.


He is not out to prove anything.
>
> The error is to infer from a talent at making the non-dubious choices,
>that the engineer must also be correct in *all* his beliefs about sound.
>
>--
>
>
>-S.
>
>
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 8:03:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 20 Aug 2004 23:25:46 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
<NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:

>"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
>news:cg3gg901b6j@news2.newsguy.com...
>> On 19 Aug 2004 23:28:48 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
>> <NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> >Enough said?
>>
>> I am not defending anyone mentioned but the major loss with age and
>> exposure is not acuity but threshhold, beginning at the higher
>> frequencies. Mostly, these guys simply have to listen louder.
>>
>OK Listen louder to be able hear the higher frequencies, maybe, then what
>happens to the lower frequencies?, speaking relatively of course and what
>way is this to pass judgment on The Abso!ute Sound? I'd think you would
>require some type of equalization, and it is more than time to head out to
>pasture, but certainly young people shouldn't take seriously old farts'
>audio opinions. (Not to say that they could have been taken seriously when
>they were young farts.)

NO eq may be needed since threshhold sensitivity is not the same thing
as intensity perception above threshhold. I cannot know what these
guys can or cannot hear but I do not think that a little presbycusis
disqualifies them.

Kal
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 8:07:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

S888Wheel <s888wheel@aol.com> wrote:
> >Subject: Re: Audio quackwatch
> >From: Steven Sullivan ssully@panix.com
> >Date: 8/21/2004 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
> >Message-id: <cg7o2s01f86@news1.newsguy.com>
> >
> >Richard Dale <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> >> Steven Sullivan wrote:
> >> >> Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
> >> >> my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a
> >Doug
> >> >> Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
> >> >> business for over 30 years, why is that?
> >> >
> >> > So, business longevity means what what they say about audio is true?
> >> > Interesting idea.
> >> Well if they had been making a living as pig farmers for the past 30 years,
> >> then yes indeed it would be just an 'interesting idea'.
> >
> >So, if a pig farmer of 30 years experience said pigs didn't evolve,
> >should we believe him? He is, after all, talking about pigs.
> >
> >
> >> However, Doug Sax has been mastering music in various formats, including 16
> >> bit PCM, and people just kept coming back to him for all this time. Why is
> >> that?
> >
> > Because there's a plethora of choices that a mastering engineer
> > makes in the course of a project, that will *certainly* change the sound.
> > But it doesn't mean that every belief he holds
> > that something affects the sound, is necessarily true.

> Unfortunately your analogies simply don't hold water. A pig farmer's success in
> decision making does not depend on his beliefs in evolution.

Please deomnstarte to me that a mastering engineer's success *depends on*
the audibility of digitial copying, or of the phsuyiological effects of
PCM.

> A mastering
> engineer's success does depend on his ability to make decisons based on his or
> her ability to discern what they are hearing.

Again, some of those decisions are certainly going to affect sound.
It is those decisions that actually affect the product...not the
superstitions.

Or are you saying that mastering engineers never hold untrue beliefs about
what affects sound?


> >> audio/professional equipment. The current company called 'Mark Levinson' is
> >> so impressed with the name that they keep using it, even though the man no
> >> longer has any association with them. Why is that?
> >
> > Branding certainly has its uses.
> >
> >> >
> >> > Do you understand why and how Doug Sax or Mark Levinson could be *utterly
> >> > wrong* about , say, the physiological effects of PCM, or the degradative
> >> > effects of digital copying, and *still* produce good-sounding product?
> >> No, not really.
> >
> >
> > Suppose a mastering engineer holds a questionable belief about the
> >audible effect
> > of something, that in fact is a superstition -- in fact, it has no
> > audible effect whatever. What will be the effect of holding this belief
> > have on the *sound* of his products? Answer: no effect whatever.
> > Meanwhile, he holds another belief, about the audible effect of
> > something else, and this one turns out to be true. The sonic
> > results of his work are due to the effects of *those* beliefs.


> If he believes that things are making a difference which in fact are not.

Which can happen, wouldn't you agree? How would you verify? OR do you
simply accept what the engineer believes as true? Then you're back where
you started.

> His
> ability to judge by ear is more suspect than another mastering
> engineer who is not making such mistakes.

'Mistakes' that in reality involve superstitious belief aren't going to
make a real difference in the products of either engineer. YOu need to
prove that successful mastering engineers are less prone to superstitions
than other humans. My unscientific sample, from reading what they say, is
that they are fully as prone to confirmation bias of objectively
unconfirmed beliefs, as anyone.

> People who make decisions by ear on a daily basis and
> are good at it should be less likely to make such mistakes than the average
> person.

But are they less prone to known psychoacoustic/psychological effects? I
want evidence that that's true. The TAS roundtable provides
*counterevidence*, if anything. You seem to think that no independent
verificiation is needed for a mastering engineer's belief about audible
difference. Decades of research say otherwise.


> > What makes one belief 'dubious' and the other not? There are
> > many, many choices a mastering engineer makes that no one
> > would question can make an audible difference to the result:

> But one could and should question the quality of the choice.

Exactly. The quality of the choice made, *for choices that make a sonic
difference*, are what determine the quality of the product. The
'quality' of choices that make no sonic difference, *doesn't matter*.

So Sax et al. should either put up evidence that digital copying is a
choice that *does matter* , or focus on the stuff that unassailably
*does matter*. "I heard it, therefore it's true' is simply insufficient
for some classes of difference, as we've known for *decades* now.

> > EQ curves, how much noise reduction to use, which source tapes
> > to use, preference for some analog equipment in the chain,
> > which monitors to use, etc. Mr. Sax would have an easy time
> > demonstarting objectively that these makes audible differences.

> He has had a lifetime of work to show he is a good decision maker. That has to
> start with a perceptive ear/brain reciever.

Perceptive, but certainly not infallible. So demonstrate to me that his
decisions re *digital copying*, and not, say, EQ curves or other stuff
that practically can't *help* but make a difference, are what determined
the quality of the result.

> > So easy, taht few if any would challenge him to do so on a
> > scientific basis.
> >
> > Then there are those that at present
> > have little basis in hard science. That digital copies are necessarily
> > audibly degraded compared to
> > their originals, is one of those, alas. Such claims
> > require more than anecdotal proof, from *anyone*.

> He is not out to prove anything.

Nor is he immune from critique, simply by virtue of having an opinion.
You want to argue from his position of authority, yet you don't want his
authority questioned on matters audio.

I repeat:

> > The error is to infer from a talent at making the non-dubious choices,
> >that the engineer must also be correct in *all* his beliefs about sound.
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 8:09:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 8/21/04 11:00 AM, in article cg7o2s01f86@news1.newsguy.com, "Steven
Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

>>> So, business longevity means what what they say about audio is true?
>>> Interesting idea.
>> Well if they had been making a living as pig farmers for the past 30 years,
>> then yes indeed it would be just an 'interesting idea'.
>
> So, if a pig farmer of 30 years experience said pigs didn't evolve,
> should we believe him? He is, after all, talking about pigs.

Perhaps not - but if he said that pigs behaved a certain way under
circumstances - should we brandish our book and academic paper at him and
accuse him of being an ignoramus?
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 8:17:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 18 Aug 2004 16:42:11 GMT, Richard Dale
<Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Harry Lavo wrote:
>
>>> In my opinion, with an experienced listener when the sound quality of a
>> system
>>> seems to drift one way or another with the passing of time (compared to a
>> live
>>> acoustical performance) it can only be a function of the listener
>> re-adjusting
>>> his internal bias.
>>
>> Did I say I agreed with this?  Where in my post?  I simply reported what
>> Mr. Sax said.  Some I may agree with; some I may not.  This is simply an
>> attempt on your part to draw me into an argument; I pass.
>I have to say it takes 'chutzpah' to call Doug Sax a quack..

Not when Doug says that tape has a lower noise floor than CD, it
doesn't! He may be an ace vinyl mastering engineer, but he sounds
like he's getting nervous about all those hard-won analogue skills now
being effectively obsolete...............
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 8:18:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 20 Aug 2004 00:19:49 GMT, Richard Dale
<Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Steven Sullivan wrote:
>
>> Richard Dale <Richard_Dale@tipitina.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>> Steven Sullivan wrote:
>>
>>> > Even a seasoned pro can emit the occasional quack now and then.
>>> > At this point I'm quite used to noted recording engineers making
>>> > 'i hear it therefore it is true' claims.
>>> >
>>> Excuse me if I've lost the plot, but isn't that what they're paid to do?
>>
>> Indeed.
>>
>>> Their work stand or falls by how good it sounds on the end user delivery
>>> medium.
>>
>> True. But their claims about audible difference do not.
>>
>>> Whether CD, LP, SACD DVD or DAVD - Doug Sax or Mark Levinson have
>>> my respect. If their work sounds poor, nobody buys it whether it's a Doug
>>> Sax mastered LP or a Mark Levinson amplifier. But they've both been in
>>> business for over 30 years, why is that?
>>
>> So, business longevity means what what they say about audio is true?
>> Interesting idea.
>Well if they had been making a living as pig farmers for the past 30 years,
>then yes indeed it would be just an 'interesting idea'.
>
>However, Doug Sax has been mastering music in various formats, including 16
>bit PCM, and people just kept coming back to him for all this time. Why is
>that?

He has a good ear, superb mixdown skills, and can master an average
studio multitrack tape into a great-sounding end product - that
doesn't make him right about digital............

>Mark Levinson has started several companies making High End
>audio/professional equipment.

Indeed he has - ever wonder why?

>The current company called 'Mark Levinson' is
>so impressed with the name that they keep using it, even though the man no
>longer has any association with them. Why is that?

Because so-called 'high end' customers just lurrrve designer labels,
even thought the actual designer is Harvey Q Knucklehead Junior. Sure
Levinson's own products sounded good - but then *any* decent amp with
solid power rails sounds good - this isn't exactly rocket science!

>> Do you understand why and how Doug Sax or Mark Levinson could be *utterly
>> wrong* about , say, the physiological effects of PCM, or the degradative
>> effects of digital copying, and *still* produce good-sounding product?

>No, not really.

Ah, well.......................

BTW, you do realise that the 'Red Rose' amplifier is a Chinese OEM job
which is rebadged by ML, and then has the price jacked by a factor of
four or five, don't you? POrobably sounds just fine, but never had
anything to do with Mark Levinson.................
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 8:18:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 21 Aug 2004 15:00:44 GMT, Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

> The error is to infer from a talent at making the non-dubious choices,
>that the engineer must also be correct in *all* his beliefs about sound.

To expand this somewhat, Tim de Paravicini is one of the best
transformer designers and rebuilders of classic tubed tape decks such
as the Revox G36, on the face of the planet, and James Boyk is a
talented recording engineer with a superb knowledge of microphone
sound, but both of them have uttered *seriously* whacko pronouncements
regarding the tweakier end of audio. It may be coincidental, but note
that neither ot them is actually a trained electronics engineer, yet
the 'off the wall' pronouncements they have made have been in the
engineering arena, regarding such things as 'wire sound' and
resolution.

--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 8:19:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 20 Aug 2004 00:20:31 GMT, "normanstrong" <normanstrong@comcast.net>
wrote:

>Bring me up to speed here. Who is Doug Sax, and how did he gain guru
>status?

You can find him easily on Google, but perhaps his best-known work to
'high end' audiophiles, is that he produced most (all?) of the classic
Sheffield Labs direct-cut LPs.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 9:20:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
news:cgag3n01smn@news1.newsguy.com...
> On 20 Aug 2004 23:25:46 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
> <NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
> >news:cg3gg901b6j@news2.newsguy.com...
> >> On 19 Aug 2004 23:28:48 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
> >> <NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> >Enough said?
> >>
> >> I am not defending anyone mentioned but the major loss with age and
> >> exposure is not acuity but threshhold, beginning at the higher
> >> frequencies. Mostly, these guys simply have to listen louder.
> >>
> >OK Listen louder to be able hear the higher frequencies, maybe, then what
> >happens to the lower frequencies?, speaking relatively of course and what
> >way is this to pass judgment on The Abso!ute Sound? I'd think you would
> >require some type of equalization, and it is more than time to head out
to
> >pasture, but certainly young people shouldn't take seriously old farts'
> >audio opinions. (Not to say that they could have been taken seriously
when
> >they were young farts.)
>
> NO eq may be needed since threshhold sensitivity is not the same thing
> as intensity perception above threshhold. I cannot know what these
> guys can or cannot hear but I do not think that a little presbycusis
> disqualifies them.
>
If one is going to compensate for diminished response to higher frequencies
by jacking up the (entire) volume in order to attempt to learn and hear
what's going on up there, what happens to the bottom (lower) end?, it too
gets louder and could easily become overwhelming. I can't see how that type
of listening is meaningful in any way whatsoever.
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 9:20:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
news:cgag3n01smn@news1.newsguy.com...
> On 20 Aug 2004 23:25:46 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
> <NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
> >news:cg3gg901b6j@news2.newsguy.com...
> >> On 19 Aug 2004 23:28:48 GMT, "Norman Schwartz"
> >> <NSchwartz35@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> >Enough said?
> >>
> >> I am not defending anyone mentioned but the major loss with age and
> >> exposure is not acuity but threshhold, beginning at the higher
> >> frequencies. Mostly, these guys simply have to listen louder.
> >>
> >OK Listen louder to be able hear the higher frequencies, maybe, then what
> >happens to the lower frequencies?, speaking relatively of course and what
> >way is this to pass judgment on The Abso!ute Sound? I'd think you would
> >require some type of equalization, and it is more than time to head out
to
> >pasture, but certainly young people shouldn't take seriously old farts'
> >audio opinions. (Not to say that they could have been taken seriously
when
> >they were young farts.)
>
> NO eq may be needed since threshhold sensitivity is not the same thing
> as intensity perception above threshhold. I cannot know what these
> guys can or cannot hear but I do not think that a little presbycusis
> disqualifies them.
>
I don't know about little vs. significant, but sticking your head into the
sand, just a little doesn't make for the best listening experience.
!