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The Voices of Pro Audio Engineers

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Anonymous
March 10, 2005 3:31:55 AM

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

If you have followed the Linkwitz-Orion thread and the debate between Chung
and I thereon, you know that the argument boils down to "is it useful for an
engineer nowadays to 'listen in' his design", or not. The engineering
argument is that quality parts are now cheap, and good engineering is well
known, so designing by the book pretty much gets you there, and measurements
are the key indicators.

Also, if you are a regular in the group, you know that pro equipment is
often cited as a good sounding, reliable, economical alternative to high-end
audio. The pro engineers are seen as sensible, straightforward types
producing quality functional gear; the boutique high-end designers are often
portrayed as amateurish, not very knowledgeable types. Thus the "listening
in" they do to component parts is because they are not very good engineers
or they would know better.

So I thought it might be of interest to the group to hear the thoughts of
some of the pro audio engineers who design and build current pro equipment,
which is nowadays usually a mixture of analog and digital technology.
The engineers quoted are Alan T. Meyer, Director of Engineering, Alesis;
John Hanson, VP Engineering and Product Development, M! Group, Harman Music
Group; Michal Jurewicz, President of Mytek; Nathan O'Neill, CTO of Symetrix;
and Marc Lindahl, a prominent engineering consultant to the industry. The
quotes are taken from a feature article entitled "Sounding Off on
Semiconductors", a special report in the current (Feb 2005 ) issue of
ProSoundNews. The basic thrust of the report is to see how the most recent
batches of advanced modular analog and digital chips have affected their
design approaches and thinking. In the course of the report, I ran across
the following observations about the design process:

Jurewicz - "(We) believe that our (semi-discrete) approach is far more
advanced than function chips offered when it comes to the main
characteristic of our products: transparent and detailed high-end sound."

Hanson (agreeing) - "Most of the time, we are able to achieve as good or
better results with our discrete designs".

Meyer - "It's the difference between art (analog) and logic (digital). From
my experience, a good analog design is completed by an engineer with an
artistic mind, while a good digital design is completed by a system level
designer with superb high-level vision".

Lindahl - "It's much harder to simulate an analog design, so you end up with
more trial and error to get it right. The approach is more simulation- and
modeling- oriented when you're working in the digital domain, just because
you can, and it's a lot easier. Either way, if you don't use your ears, and
if you're not willing to work on something until it sounds right, then,
well, as they say, 'GIGO' ".

Jurewicz (commenting on the simplification/improvement in ADC design from 15
years ago) - "In mid-quality equipment, decent performance can be achieved
'by the book' (i.e. easily) and at moderate cost. This is reflected in the
price of equipment which has plummeted threefold since the mid-'90's.
However, top-notch high-end design still requires special selection of parts
and a lot of design experience, and by no means can be described as easy."

O'Neill (agreeing) - (T)he market expectation has increased in such a way
that our designs still cost about the same to make, but now offer greatly
improved performance".

Meyer (adding) - "(E)xcellent measured performance doesn't always mean
excellent-sounding performance. All the best converters measure well, so
the true test that sets one converter apart from another is purely
subjective."

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *

To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of dilettante,
tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny that
they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.





--
Harry Lavo
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing -- Duke Ellington"
March 10, 2005 6:21:44 AM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:
> If you have followed the Linkwitz-Orion thread and the debate between Chung
> and I thereon, you know that the argument boils down to "is it useful for an
> engineer nowadays to 'listen in' his design", or not. The engineering
> argument is that quality parts are now cheap, and good engineering is well
> known, so designing by the book pretty much gets you there, and measurements
> are the key indicators.
>
> Also, if you are a regular in the group, you know that pro equipment is
> often cited as a good sounding, reliable, economical alternative to high-end
> audio. The pro engineers are seen as sensible, straightforward types
> producing quality functional gear; the boutique high-end designers are often
> portrayed as amateurish, not very knowledgeable types. Thus the "listening
> in" they do to component parts is because they are not very good engineers
> or they would know better.
>
> So I thought it might be of interest to the group to hear the thoughts of
> some of the pro audio engineers who design and build current pro equipment,
> which is nowadays usually a mixture of analog and digital technology.
> The engineers quoted are Alan T. Meyer, Director of Engineering, Alesis;
> John Hanson, VP Engineering and Product Development, M! Group, Harman Music
> Group; Michal Jurewicz, President of Mytek; Nathan O'Neill, CTO of Symetrix;
> and Marc Lindahl, a prominent engineering consultant to the industry. The
> quotes are taken from a feature article entitled "Sounding Off on
> Semiconductors", a special report in the current (Feb 2005 ) issue of
> ProSoundNews. The basic thrust of the report is to see how the most recent
> batches of advanced modular analog and digital chips have affected their
> design approaches and thinking. In the course of the report, I ran across
> the following observations about the design process:
>
> Jurewicz - "(We) believe that our (semi-discrete) approach is far more
> advanced than function chips offered when it comes to the main
> characteristic of our products: transparent and detailed high-end sound."
>
> Hanson (agreeing) - "Most of the time, we are able to achieve as good or
> better results with our discrete designs".
>
> Meyer - "It's the difference between art (analog) and logic (digital). From
> my experience, a good analog design is completed by an engineer with an
> artistic mind, while a good digital design is completed by a system level
> designer with superb high-level vision".
>
> Lindahl - "It's much harder to simulate an analog design, so you end up with
> more trial and error to get it right. The approach is more simulation- and
> modeling- oriented when you're working in the digital domain, just because
> you can, and it's a lot easier. Either way, if you don't use your ears, and
> if you're not willing to work on something until it sounds right, then,
> well, as they say, 'GIGO' ".
>
> Jurewicz (commenting on the simplification/improvement in ADC design from 15
> years ago) - "In mid-quality equipment, decent performance can be achieved
> 'by the book' (i.e. easily) and at moderate cost. This is reflected in the
> price of equipment which has plummeted threefold since the mid-'90's.
> However, top-notch high-end design still requires special selection of parts
> and a lot of design experience, and by no means can be described as easy."
>
> O'Neill (agreeing) - (T)he market expectation has increased in such a way
> that our designs still cost about the same to make, but now offer greatly
> improved performance".
>
> Meyer (adding) - "(E)xcellent measured performance doesn't always mean
> excellent-sounding performance. All the best converters measure well, so
> the true test that sets one converter apart from another is purely
> subjective."
>
> * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> * * * * * * * *
>
> To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of dilettante,
> tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny that
> they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.
>
>
>
>
>

So how does this support your statement that passives are responsible
for the majority of the advances in performance of audio in the last 25
years? Or that resistors cause gray scrim, and capacitors opaqueness? Or
that expensive parts like audiophile grade resistors and capacitors add
to the transparency?

Reading what you quoted, I got the impression that these people believe
that a lot of care is required to produce good equipment. No one ever
argues against that. I certainly do not get the impression that high-end
boutique designers have any special skills above and beyond good EE's.
The Wavac is actually a good example of the lack of skills shown by
certain high-end designers.

And no one disagrees that it takes some competence to choose the right
parts. But none of these people seem to think that the "right" parts can
only be chosen afer "countless hours of listening".

And no one disagrees that it is possible to do a better job using
discrete components than integrated circuits in *certain* applications.
The power amplifier is a good example of that.

So the bottom line is, how does this support your position? How is this
different than my position?
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 3:17:41 AM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:
> If you have followed the Linkwitz-Orion thread and the debate
between Chung
> and I thereon, you know that the argument boils down to "is it useful
for an
> engineer nowadays to 'listen in' his design", or not. The
engineering
> argument is that quality parts are now cheap, and good engineering is
well
> known, so designing by the book pretty much gets you there, and
measurements
> are the key indicators.
>
> Also, if you are a regular in the group, you know that pro equipment
is
> often cited as a good sounding, reliable, economical alternative to
high-end
> audio. The pro engineers are seen as sensible, straightforward types
> producing quality functional gear; the boutique high-end designers
are often
> portrayed as amateurish, not very knowledgeable types. Thus the
"listening
> in" they do to component parts is because they are not very good
engineers
> or they would know better.

Not necessarily. They may be very good engineers who do not know what
the placebo effect is.
>
> So I thought it might be of interest to the group to hear the
thoughts of
> some of the pro audio engineers who design and build current pro
equipment,
> which is nowadays usually a mixture of analog and digital technology.
> The engineers quoted are Alan T. Meyer, Director of Engineering,
Alesis;
> John Hanson, VP Engineering and Product Development, M! Group, Harman
Music
> Group; Michal Jurewicz, President of Mytek; Nathan O'Neill, CTO of
Symetrix;
> and Marc Lindahl, a prominent engineering consultant to the industry.
The
> quotes are taken from a feature article entitled "Sounding Off on
> Semiconductors", a special report in the current (Feb 2005 ) issue of
> ProSoundNews. The basic thrust of the report is to see how the most
recent
> batches of advanced modular analog and digital chips have affected
their
> design approaches and thinking. In the course of the report, I ran
across
> the following observations about the design process:
>
> Jurewicz - "(We) believe that our (semi-discrete) approach is far
more
> advanced than function chips offered when it comes to the main
> characteristic of our products: transparent and detailed high-end
sound."

I'm sure he does believe this. Whether it's true or not...
>
> Hanson (agreeing) - "Most of the time, we are able to achieve as good
or
> better results with our discrete designs".
>
> Meyer - "It's the difference between art (analog) and logic
(digital). From
> my experience, a good analog design is completed by an engineer with
an
> artistic mind, while a good digital design is completed by a system
level
> designer with superb high-level vision".
>
> Lindahl - "It's much harder to simulate an analog design, so you end
up with
> more trial and error to get it right. The approach is more
simulation- and
> modeling- oriented when you're working in the digital domain, just
because
> you can, and it's a lot easier. Either way, if you don't use your
ears, and
> if you're not willing to work on something until it sounds right,
then,
> well, as they say, 'GIGO' ".
>
> Jurewicz (commenting on the simplification/improvement in ADC design
from 15
> years ago) - "In mid-quality equipment, decent performance can be
achieved
> 'by the book' (i.e. easily) and at moderate cost. This is reflected
in the
> price of equipment which has plummeted threefold since the mid-'90's.
> However, top-notch high-end design still requires special selection
of parts
> and a lot of design experience, and by no means can be described as
easy."
>
> O'Neill (agreeing) - (T)he market expectation has increased in such a
way
> that our designs still cost about the same to make, but now offer
greatly
> improved performance".
>
> Meyer (adding) - "(E)xcellent measured performance doesn't always
mean
> excellent-sounding performance. All the best converters measure
well, so
> the true test that sets one converter apart from another is purely
> subjective."
>
> * * * * * * * * * * * *
*
> * * * * * * * *
>
> To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of
dilettante,
> tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny
that
> they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.

If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone with the
basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real question
is, can these guys tell their own products from their competitors when
they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at ProSoundNews don't
know enough to ask them.

bob
Related resources
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 3:19:32 AM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:

> To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of
dilettante,
> tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny
that
> they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.


Well, except for that guy from Alesis :) 
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 7:27:26 AM

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

nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
> If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone with the
> basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real question
> is, can these guys tell their own products from their competitors when
> they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at ProSoundNews don't
> know enough to ask them.

It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of proof.
On the ProSoundWeb (not affiliated w/ProSoundNews afaik),
some of the pro forums are *notably* more 'objectivist' than
others -- Dan Lavry's 'Audio Electronics' forum being a good example.

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/



--

-S
It's not my business to do intelligent work. -- D. Rumsfeld, testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 7:28:02 AM

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

Bob Ross <bross@berklee.net> wrote:
> Harry Lavo wrote:

> > To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of
> dilettante,
> > tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny
> that
> > they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.


> Well, except for that guy from Alesis :) 


What Harry still doesnt' seem to get is, if a designer indulges in
'tweaks' that are in fact neutral ---
that is, they don't *really* change the sound, despite what the designer
believes -- then, assuming the rest of the work that *does* really
affect the sound is competent, his gear will of course *still*
end up being 'functional and practical' from the user's (and
bench-tester's) POV. Whether it's 'well designed' is another
matter. ;>

It's incumbent upon the 'tweaker' to provide a
a good reason why his tweak either *should*
or *does* make a real difference.
I don't see that in the quotes cited.




--

-S
It's not my business to do intelligent work. -- D. Rumsfeld, testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 6:12:17 PM

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

Steven Sullivan wrote:

> It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of
proof.

A sadder truth still is that these days most sound 'professionals' are
only professional in the sense that they're playing with toys the
industry markets as "Pro Audio" rather than those designated "Consumer
Audio". (That plus maybe on occasion they've been able to cajole
someone into being their "client", at which point they immediately
flock to the very sort of internet forum Steve cited and beg for
advice: "Help! I've got my first paying gig tomorrow and I don't know
how to plug a mic into a speaker!")

Note that scientific standards of proof are not a necessary requirement
to build and sell audio equipment, nor are they needed to become a
successful professional audio engineer. For that matter, scientific
standards of proof are not even required in order for one to become a
perfectly satiated audiophile.

They only become necessary when designers, engineers, or listeners
attempt to characterize their perceptions as truths.
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 6:12:54 PM

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

"Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0r6oi0f8d@news3.newsguy.com...
> Bob Ross <bross@berklee.net> wrote:
> > Harry Lavo wrote:
>
> > > To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of
> > dilettante,
> > > tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny
> > that
> > > they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.
>
>
> > Well, except for that guy from Alesis :) 
>
>
> What Harry still doesnt' seem to get is, if a designer indulges in
> 'tweaks' that are in fact neutral ---
> that is, they don't *really* change the sound, despite what the designer
> believes -- then, assuming the rest of the work that *does* really
> affect the sound is competent, his gear will of course *still*
> end up being 'functional and practical' from the user's (and
> bench-tester's) POV. Whether it's 'well designed' is another
> matter. ;>
>
> It's incumbent upon the 'tweaker' to provide a
> a good reason why his tweak either *should*
> or *does* make a real difference.
> I don't see that in the quotes cited.
>

Sorry, I suspect what is "incumbent upon them" as far as their
bosses/companies are concerned is to build the best possible equipment at a
given price point. And they seem to accept that some tweaking and
subjective listening are an important part of that endeavor. If they and
their bosses/companies/customers didn't find that it mattered, they wouldn't
do it now, would they?

To say that they are all ignorant of the literature re listening testing is
a bit of a stretch, don't you think?
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 6:13:34 PM

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

"Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0r6ne0f6c@news3.newsguy.com...
> nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
> > If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone with the
> > basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real question
> > is, can these guys tell their own products from their competitors when
> > they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at ProSoundNews don't
> > know enough to ask them.
>
> It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of proof.
> On the ProSoundWeb (not affiliated w/ProSoundNews afaik),
> some of the pro forums are *notably* more 'objectivist' than
> others -- Dan Lavry's 'Audio Electronics' forum being a good example.
>
> http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/
>

As I said in reply to another of your posts, to say that they as practicing
pro audio design engineers are all ignorant of the literature re listening
testing is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 7:19:02 PM

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

"Bob Ross" <bross@berklee.net> wrote in message
news:D 0scgh01mv8@news3.newsguy.com...
> Steven Sullivan wrote:
>
> > It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> > knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of
> proof.
>
> A sadder truth still is that these days most sound 'professionals' are
> only professional in the sense that they're playing with toys the
> industry markets as "Pro Audio" rather than those designated "Consumer
> Audio". (That plus maybe on occasion they've been able to cajole
> someone into being their "client", at which point they immediately
> flock to the very sort of internet forum Steve cited and beg for
> advice: "Help! I've got my first paying gig tomorrow and I don't know
> how to plug a mic into a speaker!")
>

I don't disagree with you as for many sound engineers - although I might
point out that there is more general knowledge today of microphone
techniques than back in the '70's when multitracking was first at its peak.
Thanks in no small part to the proliferation of "schools" and the widespread
availablility of advice and discussion on the internet. But experience
using that knowledge is still a perequisite for true "professionalism".

> Note that scientific standards of proof are not a necessary requirement
> to build and sell audio equipment, nor are they needed to become a
> successful professional audio engineer. For that matter, scientific
> standards of proof are not even required in order for one to become a
> perfectly satiated audiophile.
>

Not required, but the folks I was quoting are EE's designing audio
equipment, who populate a pretty disciplined profession.


> They only become necessary when designers, engineers, or listeners
> attempt to characterize their perceptions as truths.

Well, to these folks "truth" comes in the form of sales reputation and
industry perception of sound quality.
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 11:36:24 PM

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

"Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0r6ne0f6c@news3.newsguy.com...
> nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
>> If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone with the
>> basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real question
>> is, can these guys tell their own products from their competitors when
>> they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at ProSoundNews don't
>> know enough to ask them.
>
> It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of proof.
> On the ProSoundWeb (not affiliated w/ProSoundNews afaik),
> some of the pro forums are *notably* more 'objectivist' than
> others -- Dan Lavry's 'Audio Electronics' forum being a good example.
>
> http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/

What a bunch of experts say when gathered together on a forum such as this,
often has little to do with their actual beliefs. They're usually engaged
in damage control, and certainly don't want to say anything that might have
negative repercussions on their respective companies.

Norm Strong
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 11:36:49 PM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:

> Sorry, I suspect what is "incumbent upon them" as far as their
> bosses/companies are concerned is to build the best possible
equipment at a
> given price point. And they seem to accept that some tweaking and
> subjective listening are an important part of that endeavor. If they
and
> their bosses/companies/customers didn't find that it mattered, they
wouldn't
> do it now, would they?

No, if they didn't *believe* that it mattered, they wouldn't do it. The
difference between "believing" something and "finding" something is
objective evidence, which they don't have.

bob
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 11:37:22 PM

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

Steven Sullivan wrote:

> It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of
proof.

I'd put it differently: Being a trained electrical engineer does not
guarantee knowledge of psychoacoustic principles, which aren't part of
the core curriculum of most engineering programs. For a good example of
a skilled audio engineer/designer who is clueless about this, see this
interview:

http://www.stereophile.com/interviews/996russell/

My favorite bit:

"The difference is that it actually sounds better. It's difficult to
prove in double-blind listening tests. Unfortunately, double-blind
listening tests often result in guesswork, and you'll find that you've
guessed wrong as often as you've guessed right."

Yes, that is unfortunate, isn't it?

bob
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 12:41:32 AM

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

Harry Lavo <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:
> "Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:D 0r6ne0f6c@news3.newsguy.com...
> > nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
> > > If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone with the
> > > basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real question
> > > is, can these guys tell their own products from their competitors when
> > > they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at ProSoundNews don't
> > > know enough to ask them.
> >
> > It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> > knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of proof.
> > On the ProSoundWeb (not affiliated w/ProSoundNews afaik),
> > some of the pro forums are *notably* more 'objectivist' than
> > others -- Dan Lavry's 'Audio Electronics' forum being a good example.
> >
> > http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/
> >

> As I said in reply to another of your posts, to say that they as practicing
> pro audio design engineers are all ignorant of the literature re listening
> testing is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?


Harry, I didn't say that. It's plain right up there in what I postedn,
that I didn't say that. In fact, I even noted exactly the opposite -- that
*some* most definitely *aren't* ignorant of the literature. So what on
earth are you trying to prove?





--

-S
It's not my business to do intelligent work. -- D. Rumsfeld, testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 12:43:09 AM

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

Harry Lavo <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:
> "Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:D 0r6oi0f8d@news3.newsguy.com...
> > Bob Ross <bross@berklee.net> wrote:
> > > Harry Lavo wrote:
> >
> > > > To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of
> > > dilettante,
> > > > tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny
> > > that
> > > > they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.
> >
> >
> > > Well, except for that guy from Alesis :) 
> >
> >
> > What Harry still doesnt' seem to get is, if a designer indulges in
> > 'tweaks' that are in fact neutral ---
> > that is, they don't *really* change the sound, despite what the designer
> > believes -- then, assuming the rest of the work that *does* really
> > affect the sound is competent, his gear will of course *still*
> > end up being 'functional and practical' from the user's (and
> > bench-tester's) POV. Whether it's 'well designed' is another
> > matter. ;>
> >
> > It's incumbent upon the 'tweaker' to provide a
> > a good reason why his tweak either *should*
> > or *does* make a real difference.
> > I don't see that in the quotes cited.
> >

> Sorry, I suspect what is "incumbent upon them" as far as their
> bosses/companies are concerned is to build the best possible equipment at a
> given price point. And they seem to accept that some tweaking and
> subjective listening are an important part of that endeavor. If they and
> their bosses/companies/customers didn't find that it mattered, they wouldn't
> do it now, would they?

Alas, "finding that it mattered' is far from establishing that it
makes an audible difference. If that's what they mean by 'matters',
they haven't made their case.

> To say that they are all ignorant of the literature re listening testing is
> a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

They may not be ignornant of it -- I didn't say they were.
I await their evidence that the literature is wrong and they
are right.



--

-S
It's not my business to do intelligent work. -- D. Rumsfeld, testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 3:59:15 AM

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

normanstrong@comcast.net wrote:
> "Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:D 0r6ne0f6c@news3.newsguy.com...
> > nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
> >> If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone with the
> >> basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real question
> >> is, can these guys tell their own products from their competitors when
> >> they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at ProSoundNews don't
> >> know enough to ask them.
> >
> > It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> > knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of proof.
> > On the ProSoundWeb (not affiliated w/ProSoundNews afaik),
> > some of the pro forums are *notably* more 'objectivist' than
> > others -- Dan Lavry's 'Audio Electronics' forum being a good example.
> >
> > http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/

> What a bunch of experts say when gathered together on a forum such as this,
> often has little to do with their actual beliefs. They're usually engaged
> in damage control, and certainly don't want to say anything that might have
> negative repercussions on their respective companies.

Yes, that's possible --- especially in a published article.
But I think in a comparatively obscure place like a web forum, there's not
very much pressure to 'fib' that way -- you don't even have to use your
real name, for pete's sake.


--

-S
It's not my business to do intelligent work. -- D. Rumsfeld, testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 4:01:09 AM

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

normanstrong@comcast.net wrote:

> What a bunch of experts say when gathered together on a forum such as
this,
> often has little to do with their actual beliefs. They're usually
engaged
> in damage control, and certainly don't want to say anything that
might have
> negative repercussions on their respective companies.

Which goes to the level of technical sophistication of the customer
base. Many of these engineers may well believe that "Our amps are
better than our competitors' because they measure better, even though
they sound the same."* But they'd be fools to say so if their customers
believe exactly the opposite--that these things measure the same but
sound different. No one wants to discourage that misimpression, because
it's good for business.

*Though I suspect some them have convinced themselves that their amps
really do sound better, or at least they're willing to suspend judgment
on the question.

bob
March 12, 2005 4:04:17 AM

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

Here are some comments from this EE's perspectives. My perspectives are
not necessarily better, but I think the differences are interesting.

Harry Lavo wrote:
> If you have followed the Linkwitz-Orion thread and the debate between Chung
> and I thereon, you know that the argument boils down to "is it useful for an
> engineer nowadays to 'listen in' his design", or not. The engineering
> argument is that quality parts are now cheap, and good engineering is well
> known, so designing by the book pretty much gets you there, and measurements
> are the key indicators.
>
> Also, if you are a regular in the group, you know that pro equipment is
> often cited as a good sounding, reliable, economical alternative to high-end
> audio. The pro engineers are seen as sensible, straightforward types
> producing quality functional gear; the boutique high-end designers are often
> portrayed as amateurish, not very knowledgeable types. Thus the "listening
> in" they do to component parts is because they are not very good engineers
> or they would know better.

Or, more likely, Harry has highly exaggerated the amount of "listening
in" that took place.

>
> So I thought it might be of interest to the group to hear the thoughts of
> some of the pro audio engineers who design and build current pro equipment,
> which is nowadays usually a mixture of analog and digital technology.
> The engineers quoted are Alan T. Meyer, Director of Engineering, Alesis;
> John Hanson, VP Engineering and Product Development, M! Group, Harman Music
> Group; Michal Jurewicz, President of Mytek; Nathan O'Neill, CTO of Symetrix;
> and Marc Lindahl, a prominent engineering consultant to the industry. The
> quotes are taken from a feature article entitled "Sounding Off on
> Semiconductors", a special report in the current (Feb 2005 ) issue of
> ProSoundNews. The basic thrust of the report is to see how the most recent
> batches of advanced modular analog and digital chips have affected their
> design approaches and thinking. In the course of the report, I ran across
> the following observations about the design process:
>
> Jurewicz - "(We) believe that our (semi-discrete) approach is far more
> advanced than function chips offered when it comes to the main
> characteristic of our products: transparent and detailed high-end sound."

This statement has to be put into the proper context. In some
applications, a semi-discrete approach may work best. In others, IC's
have much better performance. Examples of the former: power amplifiers.
Of the latter, high-resolution converters (ADC's and DAC's). Not sure
what Mytek produces.

>
> Hanson (agreeing) - "Most of the time, we are able to achieve as good or
> better results with our discrete designs".

Try designing a 24 bit DAC with discrete components. Also, not clear
what this person considers discrete. Is an op-amp considered discrete?

>
> Meyer - "It's the difference between art (analog) and logic (digital). From
> my experience, a good analog design is completed by an engineer with an
> artistic mind, while a good digital design is completed by a system level
> designer with superb high-level vision".

This is an extremely self-serving viewpoint. Great designs require
intuition and creativity. Does not matter if we are talking about
digital, analog or, for what it's worth, industrial design. To the
outsider, that great intuition and creativity may appear artisitic, but
there is definitely a big difference between artisitry in the fine arts
and artisitry in circuit design.

Take the iPod's industrial design, for example. Is it artistic? I would
say that the iPod's UI and the mechanical designs are a lot more
"artistic" than the analog output amplifier design.

>
> Lindahl - "It's much harder to simulate an analog design, so you end up with
> more trial and error to get it right. The approach is more simulation- and
> modeling- oriented when you're working in the digital domain, just because
> you can, and it's a lot easier. Either way, if you don't use your ears, and
> if you're not willing to work on something until it sounds right, then,
> well, as they say, 'GIGO' ".

The tools for digital design are more advanced, and it is possible to
generate very efficient digital designs automatically. But analog
designs have also been increasingly dependent on simulaton tools, to the
point that many engineers do not bother building prototypes using
discrete parts. In any event, if you don't use your tools correctly and
if you don't use your measurement gear, it's GIGO. Simulations,
measurements and verifications are the foundations of the modern design
process. Not subjective evaluation.

>
> Jurewicz (commenting on the simplification/improvement in ADC design from 15
> years ago) - "In mid-quality equipment, decent performance can be achieved
> 'by the book' (i.e. easily) and at moderate cost. This is reflected in the
> price of equipment which has plummeted threefold since the mid-'90's.
> However, top-notch high-end design still requires special selection of parts
> and a lot of design experience, and by no means can be described as easy."

To achieve the best possible performance is never an easy task.
Nowadays, it is possible for mid-priced products to achieve a level of
sonic performance that is indistinguishable from that of the
ultra-expensive products. But, certainly, even designing good mid-priced
products requires a level of competence and experience, which sometimes
is sadly lacking in the designers of the ultra-expensive gear. I have a
tremendous amount of respect for those designing high-volume consumer
products, and less for those designining expensive, niche, so-called
high-end products that cannot measure any better. I mean, what's their
excuse?

>
> O'Neill (agreeing) - (T)he market expectation has increased in such a way
> that our designs still cost about the same to make, but now offer greatly
> improved performance".

Isn't progress wonderful? It's good to remember that this improvement
comes from widespread use of digital techniques, from design tools to
actual digital audio advances, and is driven by semiconductor industry's
relentless march towards higher and higher performance at lower and
lower costs. You know, stuff that EE's have accomplished.

Worth noting that said improved performance does not come from more
expensive passives :) .

>
> Meyer (adding) - "(E)xcellent measured performance doesn't always mean
> excellent-sounding performance. All the best converters measure well, so
> the true test that sets one converter apart from another is purely
> subjective."

If a piece of gear measures great but does not sound great, then here
are the possibilities:

(1) The right measurements were not made, or the right interpretations
were not made.
(2) Sometimes highly accurate gear does not sound good subjectively to
some people.

It is my experience that the performance of today's converters have far
exceeded that required for great audio reproduction. I don't really
understand how two converters can sound different, and yet both measure
well.

>
> * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> * * * * * * * *
>
> To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of dilettante,
> tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for.

This group did not say anything about the importance of using expensive
passives, or modding.

> Funny that
> they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.
>

Better than high-end :)  ?
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 4:32:42 AM

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

<nabob33@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:D 0svi201tae@news2.newsguy.com...
> Steven Sullivan wrote:
>
> > It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> > knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of
> proof.
>
> I'd put it differently: Being a trained electrical engineer does not
> guarantee knowledge of psychoacoustic principles, which aren't part of
> the core curriculum of most engineering programs. For a good example of
> a skilled audio engineer/designer who is clueless about this, see this
> interview:
>
> http://www.stereophile.com/interviews/996russell/
>
> My favorite bit:
>
> "The difference is that it actually sounds better. It's difficult to
> prove in double-blind listening tests. Unfortunately, double-blind
> listening tests often result in guesswork, and you'll find that you've
> guessed wrong as often as you've guessed right."
>
> Yes, that is unfortunate, isn't it?

Well, since there hasn't been a positive control test done, he may be
correct for certain kinds of perceptions.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 4:33:46 AM

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

"Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0t3ac022n3@news2.newsguy.com...
> Harry Lavo <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:
> > "Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
> > news:D 0r6ne0f6c@news3.newsguy.com...
> > > nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
> > > > If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone with the
> > > > basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real question
> > > > is, can these guys tell their own products from their competitors
when
> > > > they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at ProSoundNews
don't
> > > > know enough to ask them.
> > >
> > > It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't guarantee
> > > knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards of
proof.
> > > On the ProSoundWeb (not affiliated w/ProSoundNews afaik),
> > > some of the pro forums are *notably* more 'objectivist' than
> > > others -- Dan Lavry's 'Audio Electronics' forum being a good example.
> > >
> > > http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/
> > >
>
> > As I said in reply to another of your posts, to say that they as
practicing
> > pro audio design engineers are all ignorant of the literature re
listening
> > testing is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?
>
>
> Harry, I didn't say that. It's plain right up there in what I postedn,
> that I didn't say that. In fact, I even noted exactly the opposite --
that
> *some* most definitely *aren't* ignorant of the literature. So what on
> earth are you trying to prove?
>

Sorry, you are right. I was really referring back to the original quote
above yours, which was not yours.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 6:39:14 PM

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

"Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0t3dd022q9@news2.newsguy.com...
> Harry Lavo <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:
> > "Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
> > news:D 0r6oi0f8d@news3.newsguy.com...
> > > Bob Ross <bross@berklee.net> wrote:
> > > > Harry Lavo wrote:
> > >
> > > > > To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of
> > > > dilettante,
> > > > > tweako high end designers that Chung as an EE has no use for.
Funny
> > > > that
> > > > > they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.
> > >
> > >
> > > > Well, except for that guy from Alesis :) 
> > >
> > >
> > > What Harry still doesnt' seem to get is, if a designer indulges in
> > > 'tweaks' that are in fact neutral ---
> > > that is, they don't *really* change the sound, despite what the
designer
> > > believes -- then, assuming the rest of the work that *does* really
> > > affect the sound is competent, his gear will of course *still*
> > > end up being 'functional and practical' from the user's (and
> > > bench-tester's) POV. Whether it's 'well designed' is another
> > > matter. ;>
> > >
> > > It's incumbent upon the 'tweaker' to provide a
> > > a good reason why his tweak either *should*
> > > or *does* make a real difference.
> > > I don't see that in the quotes cited.
> > >
>
> > Sorry, I suspect what is "incumbent upon them" as far as their
> > bosses/companies are concerned is to build the best possible equipment
at a
> > given price point. And they seem to accept that some tweaking and
> > subjective listening are an important part of that endeavor. If they
and
> > their bosses/companies/customers didn't find that it mattered, they
wouldn't
> > do it now, would they?
>
> Alas, "finding that it mattered' is far from establishing that it
> makes an audible difference. If that's what they mean by 'matters',
> they haven't made their case.
>
> > To say that they are all ignorant of the literature re listening testing
is
> > a bit of a stretch, don't you think?
>
> They may not be ignornant of it -- I didn't say they were.
> I await their evidence that the literature is wrong and they
> are right.
>

What seems to escape you and many other critics here is that the audio
world -- engineers, critics, audiophiles -- all seem to get along just fine
without feeling they have to justify or "present evidence" or "make a case"
for every decision they make. I'm sorry that it bothers you so much. But
most of us are simply willing to trust our hearing, knowing that it is not
infallible.

And obviously the engineers I quoted don't think "designing by the book" is
a terrific approach if one wants to approach the state-of-the-art at a given
price point. They factor "listening" as an important part of the equation.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 6:39:52 PM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:
> "Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:D 0t3ac022n3@news2.newsguy.com...
> > Harry Lavo <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:
> > > "Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
> > > news:D 0r6ne0f6c@news3.newsguy.com...
> > > > nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
> > > > > If Chung is right, then it's not funny at all, since anyone
with the
> > > > > basic knowledge can design good audio electronics. The real
question
> > > > > is, can these guys tell their own products from their
competitors
> when
> > > > > they can't see the faceplates? I gather the folks at
ProSoundNews
> don't
> > > > > know enough to ask them.
> > > >
> > > > It's a sad truth, but being a sound 'professional' doesn't
guarantee
> > > > knowledge of, or belief in the utility of, scientific standards
of
> proof.
> > > > On the ProSoundWeb (not affiliated w/ProSoundNews afaik),
> > > > some of the pro forums are *notably* more 'objectivist' than
> > > > others -- Dan Lavry's 'Audio Electronics' forum being a good
example.
> > > >
> > > > http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/
> > > >
> >
> > > As I said in reply to another of your posts, to say that they as
> practicing
> > > pro audio design engineers are all ignorant of the literature re
> listening
> > > testing is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?
> >
> >
> > Harry, I didn't say that. It's plain right up there in what I
postedn,
> > that I didn't say that. In fact, I even noted exactly the opposite
--
> that
> > *some* most definitely *aren't* ignorant of the literature. So
what on
> > earth are you trying to prove?
> >
>
> Sorry, you are right. I was really referring back to the original
quote
> above yours, which was not yours.

Yeah, but it was mine, and I didn't say that either!

bob
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 6:41:23 PM

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

In the past few months I attended both Las Vegas CES and
the Audio Engineering Society show in San Francisco. I
only saw one company that exhibited at both shows. That
was Manley Labs.

What has always been something of a mystery to me is why
hi-end audio guys seem to do so little location recording.
Very few that I know do, and many of those who do give it
a try only do so half-heartedly. There are always a few
who do give it a serious go, but they are very much the
exception.

There's something really special about going out and
recording a performance live and bringing it back home.
Kind of like an audio version of big game hunting.
You get to try out different microphone techniques
and see what it does to the recording. A lot of fun.

You'd be surprised what you can do with some relatively
inexpensive equipment. Of course spending more money
*can* get you better results, or not... And then there's
the problem with recording technology continuing to
evolve much more than playback technology. That DAT
machine you paid $1500 for not that many years ago
is now a boat anchor.

Russ
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 6:41:47 PM

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

<normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote:

> What a bunch of experts say when gathered together on a forum such as this,
> often has little to do with their actual beliefs. They're usually engaged
> in damage control, and certainly don't want to say anything that might have
> negative repercussions on their respective companies.
>
> Norm Strong

Is there concrete evidence for this, or is it merely an
assertion? If there is evidence, please present it.


Mike Prager
North Carolina, USA
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 8:12:28 PM

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

On 12 Mar 2005 15:39:14 GMT, "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote:

>What seems to escape you and many other critics here is that the audio
>world -- engineers, critics, audiophiles -- all seem to get along just fine
>without feeling they have to justify or "present evidence" or "make a case"
>for every decision they make.

Oh no, we're *well* aware that the audio industry never tries to
justify the weird stuff they sell to 'audiophiles', especially in the
so-called 'high end' market.

> I'm sorry that it bothers you so much. But
>most of us are simply willing to trust our hearing, knowing that it is not
>infallible.

Actually, you guys *never* trust your hearing, you always insist on
*knowing* what's connected before you pass an opinion.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 8:13:38 PM

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

"Russ Button" <russ@button.com> wrote in message
news:D 0v2j302h16@news2.newsguy.com...
> In the past few months I attended both Las Vegas CES and
> the Audio Engineering Society show in San Francisco. I
> only saw one company that exhibited at both shows. That
> was Manley Labs.
>
> What has always been something of a mystery to me is why
> hi-end audio guys seem to do so little location recording.
> Very few that I know do, and many of those who do give it
> a try only do so half-heartedly. There are always a few
> who do give it a serious go, but they are very much the
> exception.
>
> There's something really special about going out and
> recording a performance live and bringing it back home.
> Kind of like an audio version of big game hunting.
> You get to try out different microphone techniques
> and see what it does to the recording. A lot of fun.
>
> You'd be surprised what you can do with some relatively
> inexpensive equipment. Of course spending more money
> *can* get you better results, or not... And then there's
> the problem with recording technology continuing to
> evolve much more than playback technology. That DAT
> machine you paid $1500 for not that many years ago
> is now a boat anchor.
>
> Russ

I'll second this, Russ. I became a serious "audiophile" in the mid-late
sixties and started recording live music within a year. By the
early-mid=seventies I was a good semi-pro recordist specializing in acoustic
music (classical, chamber, jazz, folk) using purist mic techniques, enough
so that I considered making it a full time career. The effort taught me a
lot about acoustics, particularly since I also took a night course in NYC at
the Institute for Audio Research under John Woram and got a thorough
grounding in theory and principles.

More importantly, the effort taught me much about audio evaluation, since I
could play second generation tapes of my efforts, or the phonograph records
that were produced from them, or both, through my own system. It was one of
the things that alerted me to how badly the SS gear of that time mangled the
sound compared to the tube gear of the sixties. Interestingly enough, when
Harry Pearson started The Abso!ute Sound, he also had invested in some
fairly high-end semi-pro gear (a Revox A700 15ips half-track and some Beyer
ribbon and other mikes I now do not recall) and done some recording. It was
our discussions of some of what these shared endeavors yielded in the way of
insight that led him to ask me to write for his then on-the-boards magazine.

I think doing your own recording gives your a good frame of reference for
what a) live sound sounds like, and b) what recordings of that sound sound
like at various points in the chain. It is one of the things that allows me
to make judgment with a fair degree of confidence about the generic
characteristics of various pieces of gear as it affects overall sound
quality of the playback system.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 9:52:41 PM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:

> What seems to escape you and many other critics here is that the
audio
> world -- engineers, critics, audiophiles -- all seem to get along
just fine
> without feeling they have to justify or "present evidence" or "make a
case"
> for every decision they make.

Nonsense. Of course they do. That's precisely why they insist that it's
so important to listen. The problem isn't that they don't believe in
evidence. The problem is that their evidence doesn't hold up.

bob
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 3:47:53 AM

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

<nabob33@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:D 0svh101t93@news2.newsguy.com...
> Harry Lavo wrote:
>
> > Sorry, I suspect what is "incumbent upon them" as far as their
> > bosses/companies are concerned is to build the best possible
> equipment at a
> > given price point. And they seem to accept that some tweaking and
> > subjective listening are an important part of that endeavor. If they
> and
> > their bosses/companies/customers didn't find that it mattered, they
> wouldn't
> > do it now, would they?
>
> No, if they didn't *believe* that it mattered, they wouldn't do it. The
> difference between "believing" something and "finding" something is
> objective evidence, which they don't have.
>

Gosh, I wish I could read peoples minds and know what they based their
belief on, without ever so much as speaking to them. It must be a wonderful
gift.
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 3:48:15 AM

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

<nabob33@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:D 0vdpp0116s@news1.newsguy.com...
> Harry Lavo wrote:
>
> > What seems to escape you and many other critics here is that the
> audio
> > world -- engineers, critics, audiophiles -- all seem to get along
> just fine
> > without feeling they have to justify or "present evidence" or "make a
> case"
> > for every decision they make.
>
> Nonsense. Of course they do. That's precisely why they insist that it's
> so important to listen. The problem isn't that they don't believe in
> evidence. The problem is that their evidence doesn't hold up.
>

Once again, your ability to read minds and discern objective information
therein is truly amazing, Bob.
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 8:04:23 PM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:
> <nabob33@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 0vdpp0116s@news1.newsguy.com...
> > Harry Lavo wrote:
> >
> > > What seems to escape you and many other critics here is that the
> > audio
> > > world -- engineers, critics, audiophiles -- all seem to get along
> > just fine
> > > without feeling they have to justify or "present evidence" or
"make a
> > case"
> > > for every decision they make.
> >
> > Nonsense. Of course they do. That's precisely why they insist that
it's
> > so important to listen. The problem isn't that they don't believe
in
> > evidence. The problem is that their evidence doesn't hold up.
> >
>
> Once again, your ability to read minds and discern objective
information
> therein is truly amazing, Bob.

Who's reading anyone's mind? I'm merely taking them at their word. They
say it's important to listen, and I presume they believe that. Are you
suggesting that they don't really believe it's important to listen?

bob
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 8:06:36 PM

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

"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:D 0v2f202gr6@news2.newsguy.com...

> And obviously the engineers I quoted don't think "designing by the book"
> is
> a terrific approach if one wants to approach the state-of-the-art at a
> given
> price point. They factor "listening" as an important part of the
> equation.

How does this work in practice. Let's say an engineer has designed an
amplifier "by the book" and it performs on the bench like the book says it
should. Now the engineer listens to it and finds that the PRAT is poor--or
perhaps the soundstage is too narrow. What does he do now? How does he
link a circuit design change to what he subjectively hears? Although I'm a
design engineer myself, I wouldn't know where to start.

Norm Strong
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 8:15:57 PM

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

"Mike Prager" <hifi@ec.rr.com> wrote in message
news:D 0v2jr02h21@news2.newsguy.com...
> <normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>> What a bunch of experts say when gathered together on a forum such as
>> this,
>> often has little to do with their actual beliefs. They're usually
>> engaged
>> in damage control, and certainly don't want to say anything that might
>> have
>> negative repercussions on their respective companies.
>>
>> Norm Strong
>
> Is there concrete evidence for this, or is it merely an
> assertion? If there is evidence, please present it.

It's merely an assertion.

Norm Strong
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 6:25:01 AM

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

<normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:D 11rus02s56@news3.newsguy.com...
> "Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
> news:D 0v2f202gr6@news2.newsguy.com...
>
> > And obviously the engineers I quoted don't think "designing by the book"
> > is
> > a terrific approach if one wants to approach the state-of-the-art at a
> > given
> > price point. They factor "listening" as an important part of the
> > equation.
>
> How does this work in practice. Let's say an engineer has designed an
> amplifier "by the book" and it performs on the bench like the book says it
> should. Now the engineer listens to it and finds that the PRAT is
poor--or
> perhaps the soundstage is too narrow. What does he do now? How does he
> link a circuit design change to what he subjectively hears? Although I'm
a
> design engineer myself, I wouldn't know where to start.
>
> Norm Strong
>

That's why for some of them it is something approaching art. And where some
trial and error (remember the comment originally quoted about analog) enters
in. Perhaps substituting passive components and listening.
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 3:53:19 AM

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

On 13 Mar 2005 17:06:36 GMT, <normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote:

>"Harry Lavo" <harry.lavo@rcn.com> wrote in message
>news:D 0v2f202gr6@news2.newsguy.com...
>
>> And obviously the engineers I quoted don't think "designing by the book"
>> is
>> a terrific approach if one wants to approach the state-of-the-art at a
>> given
>> price point. They factor "listening" as an important part of the
>> equation.
>
>How does this work in practice. Let's say an engineer has designed an
>amplifier "by the book" and it performs on the bench like the book says it
>should. Now the engineer listens to it and finds that the PRAT is poor--or
>perhaps the soundstage is too narrow. What does he do now? How does he
>link a circuit design change to what he subjectively hears? Although I'm a
>design engineer myself, I wouldn't know where to start.

Well of course you wouldn't - because if you build it right, it will
sound *exactly* the same as any other good amp, despite Martin
Colloms' nonsense about PRAT, and 'subjective scoring'.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 7:11:38 AM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:

> So I thought it might be of interest to the group to hear the thoughts of
> some of the pro audio engineers who design and build current pro equipment,
> which is nowadays usually a mixture of analog and digital technology.

Haven't been here for a little while, so missed the beginning of this thread.

You raise some *very* interesting points.

As a 'pro-audio' designer of some 30 yrs + experience, I think I may have
something to contribute.

As for the simple question 'does it matter to listen' ? - Yes damn sure it does.
Some of my designs have been lauded simply because users say ' they sound good '
! Enough said. Superficial 'tech performance figure' similarities may be
entirely irrelevant. The question is - is the tech test a meaningful one that
reveals useful info ?

Modern techniques will allow DSP based test sets to simulate far more critical
test signals than classic sine wave or IMD figures.

Is this a recipe for charlatans to promote so-called 'super components' ? No way
! A real engineer knows what characteristics of his circuitry matter. It's down
to design. Plain and simple. There's no Voodoo.


Graham
Anonymous
March 18, 2005 7:12:12 AM

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

Harry Lavo wrote:

> To my ears, this group sounds an awful lot like that group of dilettante,
> tweako high end designers

No, they're actually making very relevant points actually ! You need to filter
the signal from the noise ( that emanates from the snake oilers ) !

> that Chung as an EE has no use for. Funny that
> they design such functional, practical, well-designed equipment.

That's what *pro-audio* designers do ! At a price that makes high-end 'hi-fi'
look seriously indecently priced.


Graham
!