Can You Hear Me Now


In an interview with Laurence Borden of Dagogo, Dr Earl Geddes talked about the ability of people to really have golden ears. In his work at Ford, he tried to gauge how good the ten member golden ear panel was. I will let him tell you his findings. “For the most part the study concluded that this panel was “not capable.” In other words their judgments could not be relied upon to be statistically stable. That said, there were two members of the ten who were capable, so it was possible. But the real point here is that someone is not a good judge of sound quality just because they think that they are – all ten members would have claimed that they were audiophiles and good judges of sound quality.
After several more studies along these same lines, I came to conclude that the more someone claimed to be a “golden ear” the less likely it was that they actually were.”  
That got me thinking: how many of our members would belong to the group of eight and how many would be with the two who could really hear. Interesting reading. The full interview can be found here:
https://www.dagogo.com/an-interview-with-dr-earl-geddes-of-gedlee-llc/
N.B. Dr. Earl Geddes is one of the pioneers of the Distributed Bass Array system. His work on the subject is well known. 
spenav
So what was your question OP?

I can say this, my ears make ME happy.

For that matter, so do my eyes, mouth, nose and hands.

They sure are "Golden to Me" 8 parts, I'm not sure if your nose counts as 1 or 2, one nose two orifices.. :-)

The other 8 are "tin eared" or gold, silver, bronze, and runner up?

What's the question again?

Regards
Two out of ten…..sounds about right.
So the point is that golden ears really do exist.
A bit of a quick ramble, but some might find it useful:


In a study about people, in what would eventually evolve into the modern descriptor called ’dunning-kreuger’ we would end up with a distribution that looks like the following thought experiment that was proven to be the norm.

If I was to stand in front of a podium and crowd..and then step up to the microphone, and say to the crowd, "’some of you are pretty smart", 75% of the people in the crowd would feel that I’m speaking to and about them.

when the reality is that, statistically, the statement applies to only 10% of the given crowd or audience.

It is a standard method of crowd and group control to pander, to make people fall into their own bubble of self as a reflection. the media gives the masses what their mental outlook wants and desires and tries its best to pander cheap intellectual cuing to them, so the crowd can feel smart and in touch with reality and what it is to ’be smart’. media... ego strokes the masses.

In audio, Some go after the audiophile types who believe in differences in cables, small differences in sonic signatures, etc..and think that they are fooling themselves.

Some may be, some may not be. Mostly not, I’d think. Awareness and subtleties in capacity innate to the individual(s), are key here.

In modern application of psychology to propaganda and media for crowd opinion control, it is similar to the audio world.

Where in the audio world we have garish sounding mediocrity posing as high end, so that the crowd of people who’s senses are more blunt, can hear ’detail’ and ’subtleties’ being presented. In media, we throw expected norms, manipulated into being small simple puzzles that the mediocrity of the crowd can unravel, so they think they are smart. To keep the masses bubbled into thinking they are in touch with it all. Entire continents can be shifted this way. And are.

In audio...when those subtleties and details are actually distortions, not true dynamics and microdyanmics. and, if they are there, these subtleties, they are damaged and exaggerated (covered up and replaced, even) by these distortions. Some of us experience such sonic attributes as screechiness, and harshness that we cannot abide. Yet, others don’t hear it, they hear detail. In the same way some don’t recognize beauty unless the bodily features are exaggerated.

One important point not yet well recognized in the world of audio, is that the ear is a sliding, moving, shifting mechanism.. with regard to attention to detail. in the same way we can program our mind with attempts in reasoning, to program our eyes with attempts to find detail, we program our ears to look into sonic landscapes. this is tied to all kinds of psychological and physiological factors, which vary between individuals, and those latter factors are also malleable and shiftable, teachable, etc. We would not have to teach children or anyone, if that was not true.

The ear is slightly unique in the world of human senses. It has an interrupter, called the inner voice. the ego voice, if you will. It’s function in speech recognition is to make human speech recognition faster. You can close your eyes but you can’t close your ears, it is more fundamental like touch, or the more automatic or subconscious, unconscious aspects like moving the body, etc. no speech part is known to exist in these areas. the ego loop inner voice (speech part) thing is the most modern part of the mind, one might say. These descriptors are not entirely accurate but I hope some can get the point.

Before a person speaks or writes (like I am at the time I type this), we organize the words unconsciously, subconsciously, and then repeat them in the mind out loud, in the inner voice, then we speak them out loud. Eg, you can’t read this and cognate this writing..unless.. you visually recognize these bits of light dark contrast as letters, then feel them as a ’word’ and groups of words, and then this comes to you as a subconscious wordless soundless murmur, then the brain sounds them out as words in your head, like hearing a voice, then this is finally cognates as meaning, when we hear this voice inside our heads.

The brain organizes all words you know as beginnings of sound-sets, when we begin cognating a sound. Then it fills in the word quickly, actually before it is fully heard.. and only goes back and corrects, when a mistake has been made/found.

Almost like being at bat playing baseball, and taking a swing at the ball. which is, for the most part, a blind swing enabled by repeated training that is below the conscious senses. Sometimes we call that muscle memory.

The ear/brain has this, in a way, as tied into the word cognating device, the ego loop, the inner voice. We use this (it is overlaid) in music signal recognition, and the whole monkey beat thing. dancing to the beat, etc. ear worms of songs, etc. We overlay expectation of a sound onto the coming sound, as the sounds that have already begun, in our minds. An overlay, if you will... if we are not careful and do not learn to set aside the ear’s specific pattern recognition ego loop function.

This is where people get into not hearing small differences. they are covering it up via this word recognition mechanism the ego loop, the voice in the head, the beat anticipation aspect, becomes loss of cognition of audio signals in their fineness of subtleties and whatnot.

It’s not just a question of physical and mental capacity its also a case of individuals sensitivities to ego loop inner voice overlay of reality with pre-known aspects. Expectation bias is another descriptor. In this case, it is more of a learned pattern overlay problem. Pareidolia for the ear, one might call it. Media and manipulation follows the same pathways. Reinforced norms we can’t easily break out of. The various groups even go as far as to recognize this but accuse the other of falling for it.

The pander point for media and manipulation, if you will. the garishness of beauty, the garishness of some audio gear, mistaken for detail as it is gross and in your face. High end for the masses or less capable. empty the cup, so the new can get in, the Buddhists tell you. otherwise, nothing changes. So much for human intelligence vs instinct.

All tied to the ego loop word recognition speed up mechanism (one place it shows itself). It is essential to the spoken hypnosis method, for example. A method that is sometimes supported additionally with visual techniques, the swinging pendulum, etc. light patterns, other stimulus, etc. Brainwashing techniques are part of this.

We could get down into the weeds of linear thinking mind vs the more open accomplished mind, growth vs static mindsets, speed of cognition vs IQ, engineering vs physics, how this evolved into the Bavarian rote-repetition-dictate academic teaching method (which initiated the engineering class..it began in Bavaria in the early/mid 1700's)...the programming of minds, which created the engineering masses. 

Engineering as a class of people, as a class of minds, as a class of intellect and capacity... was created to help the more common mind than is the more rare renaissance type. It was about helping linear projecting minds, the type that are necessary for religion to work..to help that type be useful to the building out of the modern world.  engineering and rote learning in high level academia as made for taking this larger mass of more common minds and mindsets. Seriously. I kid you not.

this is how you get things like audio science review projecting upon the more capable that that capable group is full of it and the linear aspect of rote repetition is somehow more important to the world than innate capacity and the reason tied to higher levels of thinking and thought. Audio science review is tied directly to the psychology of the fundamental of religion (via the Bavarian academic method), yet they know not about any aspect of  their own. Again. More Bruno vs the Church than a grown man can take.

To write at length on all these contexts and all kinds of stuff that is hugely relevant to the audiophile ’believers vs haters’ question sets.

A person would be here writing all day.

Years ago, I had a pretty good ear. I would not want to be tested for frequency response or repeatability because other factors might influence my results. I'm not a lab animal but on a good day my hearing was very discriminating. 
@oldhvymec 



I wasn’t asking a question, just pointing out a rather interesting interview that can generate some introspection in some of us. 
Oh well so much for banking on claims of golden ears.  Hopefully the ears are at least clean as a minimum requirement. 
@ teo_audio

I always enjoy observation of what makes us tick;  cause & effect if you will. So thanks for the post. I wish I could type that fast. I'd have to have started when I woke up this morning to type all that. Self taught with big fingers which get harder to control as I get older doesn't help. My mind still goes at the speed of  sound but my fingers at the speed of a Model A. Anyway, it was a good read

@russ69 

No one would like to be treated like a Guinea pig, after all we listen to music for enjoyment and not as a profession, at least most of us. I personally want to always be honest with myself. I am old enough to know myself pretty well. I probably would sit somewhere between these two groups. It takes me a while to assess subtlety. Most of the time I would do it by subtraction. I would take out a tweak that has been in my system for awhile and see if that creates a negative difference. If it doesn’t, that contraption got to go. Maybe it will make a difference in someone else’s system. 
The question or the alleged fact here about "golden ears" must be interpreted in training terms and NOT being a way to classify people...

The important fact is our hearing ability is related proportionately to our own ability to train it ourself everyday by listening experiments and musical training...

The FOCUSED hearing or seeing attention is half of our brain work and PERIPHERAL hearing or seing attention the other half...Imagine a rythm between these 2 halves of your brain and this rythm is controlled by your conscious working on it...Like a ping pong player focusing on the ball and at the same times on the body of his opponent...

Remember one of the geatest mystery in acoustic is that anyone COULD SEE with the right training of his ATTENTION the microdynamic playing tonal timbre of an instrument playing this ONE NOTE like a 3-D object in some space with a complete physionomy like a human figure...This is a LEARNED conscious experience for most of us....

And learning how these interrelated visual cues and auditive cues are possibly translated in one another is one of the most striking experience in musical life and in psycho-acoustic science... Acoustic is key to audiophile life and musical training...Not dac, amplifiers,cables,turntable,or even speakers by themselves....

Acoustic is not electronic engineering, nor a TIMBRE is only a spectrum of frequencies...Timbre is a subjective experienced perception, spectrum is a mathemarical hypothesis about Timbre perception which is anyway UNEXPLAINED for the time being...

 A maestro, an acoustician, a piano tuner, a passive audiophile, an experimenting audiophile, an average music consumer, all these are "trained" on a scale that go from almost zero to 100%...

To that we must add innate ability like perfect pitch perception or echolocalization by some blind people...

The true question is NOT whom own "golden ears"...Some few only...

The true question is how do you train your own ears and WHAT do you do for listening experiments and musical training ...

Most people buy a new amplifier and call that an audiophile experience... 😁😊

Some reviewers think seriously that they know much because they had plug 100 costly new amplifiers to a wall and reviewed them ...(mine cost me 100 bucks ) SOUND IS NOT always MUSIC....MUSIC IS NOT always SOUND...An acoustically well informed sound could be good music, but music could be played silently so to speak in the head for example...



And it takes me all my life to learn how to listen to Scriabin and why listening to him for example, and all my life to figure out some acoustic.... Some musicians learn that in the cradle...Some rare blind people know that from the womb...

Golden ears ? we all own some POTENTIAL golden ears, but the NECESSARY training and the INNATE ability scale could vary much....
I forgot to say that claiming to own "golden ears" is ridiculous egotic stance most of the times, but claiming that "golden ears" did not exist is pure simple ignorance ...."Batman"  and  Toscanini are 2 different human beings but they exist anyway ....I am neither one.... And probably you are not either... We must train...
@mahgister
The general consensus is that golden ears do exist but the majority of those who claim to be are not. There is a lot to unfold here. Consider it food for thoughts. 
One year at CES there was a problem with the PA. I was way in back of the packed room but saw the commotion, the running around trying to find the problem. One guy in the middle of the room says something. Everyone pays attention.

Nobody believes me when I tell this story. People with tin ears all want to think they're all there is. Vast majority, tin.

This story proves it. Whole room, at least 100 audiophiles, everyone hearing the same thing and it is just like here, majority nowhere even close. The one guy was right. And I was too far away to see it, all I know is it took a soldering iron. (Last time I told this someone says soldering iron, no way! CES, people. Yes way.) Sound comes back, whatever it was is fixed. Eventually word filters clear back to me, the guy who identified the problem by ear was Stan Ricker.

Now I am no Stan Ricker. But I have been saying if you know how to listen then you can indeed understand what you are hearing even with a strange system in a strange room playing strange music. Stan Ricker picked out one part from among hundreds in a system he had never heard before in a room he'd never been with music he didn't know.

Think what you like people. If you want to side with the folks who can't hear and aren't interested in learning, be my guest. But I will tell you, contrary to popular opinion, this is not a zero sum game. Improve one, improve all. If only they be willing.
In any experiment, especially psychological, the devil is in the details. Even when elementary errors of logic have been avoided, and even when the statistics have not been abused, measurements are often irrelevant to the goals of the study.

The whole scientific literature is littered with claims not supported by the data.
In any experiment, especially psychological, the devil is in the details. Even when elementary errors of logic have been avoided, and even when the statistics have not been abused, measurements are often irrelevant to the goals of the study.

The whole scientific literature is littered with claims not supported by the data.


Half at least of the scientific litterature published is made of "tailored" measurements on demand , by big pharmas for example...Then it has NOTHING to do with science and is only at best some technological financially interesting "garage lane"...In a word "crookery" or in audio term "snake oil".....This was claimed by one of the director of the Lancet for example decade ago...



All the work of the great philosopher of science and scientist polymath Michael Polaniyi demostrated that science is not about measurements but about the way idea and perception subordinate to one another...

The Ptolemaic model was at least as accurate for measurements than the Copernician model...

But the Copernician subordinate the perception of the apparent centered sun to the invisible movement and idea placing earth AROUND the sun, in contrast to the perception of the sense data...


Today in the era of transhumanistic materialistic technological idolatry " science" is no more an ethic of the Reason and Spirit over the senses, a yoga of the perception like Goethe was teaching us, but the triumph of the blind hubris and of the formula called computer " program" and A.I. ....

Polaniyi remind us also of the destructive effect of any pyramidal control and centralized research over science ... i will not summarize his book....Nor will remind you in the actual crisis on world scene how centralized pharmas destroyed autonomous reason, democracy and freedom and autonomous medecine....
Great sommeliers rate about the same, I would think. Same goes for those who work in the perfume industry. We’re talking about a curve for rating the senses. It’s a given. How unusual is 20/15 vision? Fighter pilots have 20/10 vision.

If we’re talking about maybe 20% of us having better hearing than "normal", what’s all the hub, bub? If there are 10 million audiophiles in this country, then at least 2 million know what they’re hearing.

Considering that our hearing acuity is part of what attracted us to this hobby to begin with, it’s a good bet that a normal curve of, say, 20% for the general population would work out to maybe 40-50% for audiophiles because of our abilities. 

I can’t imagine tone deaf people flocking to our hobby though I think I’ve encountered some here.

All the best,
Nonoise
If there are golden ears it isn't the hearing ability that is golden it's the ability of the listener to interpret  and to what he can hear and to retain as much of it in memory. It's the brain and the listener's experience and concentration that may be golden. The actual hearing of the ear is way down the list.
In any experiment, especially psychological, the devil is in the details. Even when elementary errors of logic have been avoided, and even when the statistics have not been abused, measurements are often irrelevant to the goals of the study.

The whole scientific literature is littered with claims not supported by the data.


@terry9 Statistics are invariably abused. Either deliberately or by sheer utter incompetence. Neither transgression is forgivable. Swaths of rants could be (and have been) devoted to this, perhaps what you concisely describe as the devil is in the detail..

Robust studies devote an abundance of resources defining exactly what variables need and can be be quantified and in a manner that is beyond reproach.

Sadly, many empirical studies spend 5% of the time thinking about the problem and 95% of time finding a solution. The opposite approach, often incorrectly attributed to Einstein, is the one with merit.

Edit - I do not limit this comment to any particular field being analysed.  It applies generally.
53 posts11-03-2021 12:05amIf there are golden ears it isn't the hearing ability that is golden it's the ability of the listener to interpret and to what he can hear and to retain as much of it in memory. It's the brain and the listener's experience and concentration that may be golden. The actual hearing of the ear is way down the list.
 Thanks for your great post....

I wish i would have written it myself so well with so few words.... 

My deepest respect...
Oh dear Teo.     "slightly unique"

It's either unique or it isn't.
Most probably not.
@OP - Appreciate the social experiment. Results are as expected. ;-)
For me, the question is not "Do I have golden ears?" but rather these:

"What are the conditions for proper listening?"
"What are the specific qualities to listen for?"
"How can I test myself to know that I'm attending to those qualities properly?"
and,
"What is the vocabulary to affix to said qualities?"

The very phrase "golden ears" is like the phrase in baseball pitching, "rocket arm."

I probably possess neither, by nature. But I want to listen better. That's what it means to be an audiophile -- to try, intelligently.

Post removed 
What are these golden ears of which you speak? While it might not be an attractive look but with the price of gold close to an all time high, wouldn't it be wisest to cut them off and take the cash? Just sayin.
Pareto Principle, haha. 
Sounds about right..,
Too many years and way to many 105mm guns without protection
105mm Howitzer not a gun or a cannon. 
My father was Airborne Field Artillery before going SF. He always corrected me when they did a mass drop and maneuvers. Snuck me on the range also. Perks of being the Majors son?
Some excellent and savvy responses here.

I recall the terms percussive sublimation and push/pull from “The Peter Principle”

These audio sounding terms aptly describe the irony of many here who are at an age where a hearing check would result in almost all having some (or more than some) hearing loss. Put another way this group’s love, passion, pursuit and knowledge of listening to music is like getting a refill of dopamine.

We may not be able to hear “perfectly” but we can feel the music and will keep tweaking in order to feel more! 

Who doesn’t want more of what they love?


For me, the question is not "Do I have golden ears?" but rather these:

"What are the conditions for proper listening?"
"What are the specific qualities to listen for?"
"How can I test myself to know that I'm attending to those qualities properly?"
and,
"What is the vocabulary to affix to said qualities?"

The very phrase "golden ears" is like the phrase in baseball pitching, "rocket arm."

I probably possess neither, by nature. But I want to listen better. That's what it means to be an audiophile -- to try, intelligently.
 Thanks very much....

I wish i would have written a so wise post....


My best to you.....
There is more in sound perception and interpretation by the brain than just what measurements pointed to and more than what is the effect of some loss of hearing related to age....

Musical sounds in particular are actively "CREATED " and not only passively perceived by a complex translation mechanism in the brain ....

Then i concur with this wise post:

We may not be able to hear “perfectly” but we can feel the music and will keep tweaking in order to feel more!

@wsrrsw
That’s the paradox of the life we are in, isn’t it? The youths have a lot of energy but don’t know what to do with it. We can appreciate beauty and relationships now but lack the manpower to fully engage in it, if you know what I mean. We can better afford the gears that we want now but are slowly losing our hearing faculties. We really cannot win but by golly, I am going to enjoy every second I got left, so help me God.
@wsrrsw
That’s the paradox of the life we are in, isn’t it? The youths have a lot of energy but don’t know what to do with it. We can appreciate beauty and relationships now but lack the manpower to fully engage in it, if you know what I mean. We can better afford the gears that we want now but are slowly losing our hearing faculties. We really cannot win but by golly, I am going to enjoy every second I got left, so help me God.
If someone know all there is to know he cannot and will not create something new at all immersed in the universal knowledge...

If we create something new, a new perspective on/in the cosmos, we can and may do it because we are " limited " and constrained by our past freedom here and now...Indians called it "dharma/karma" wheel....

Then perhaps to be bown and dying is related also to freedom and not only to fatality....

Thanks for your wise post observation...

My best to you....




«Some slaves chose to be slaves and  they are the real slaves»-Anonymus Smith

«The only blindness at the end is blindness to our own blindness»-Daniel Kish called  "batman" because  being born blind  he teach echolocalization to blind children to help them  navigate alone and freely  the world....
Can you turn tin into gold? Newton thought so as if the universe was a mere puzzle for which God provided reason to solve. I believe otherwise. Accept the tin for what it is. And pray for those who have all the answers. 
Post removed 
Very great post! hundred thanks!
@mahgister You go dude!

@spenav  I getting to know what you mean and I know you know what I mean.

Peace
It all depends on purity(carats) and whether they're solid gold or hollow inside to determine what they're worth.
I buy on the recommendations of people I trust. People who have tried out many components and tweaks and can distillize their experience. 

That, and research on that information. Along the way I gain knowledge.

The only thing I have not applied is DBA cause it is too impractical in my listening room due to lack of room. One sub is all I can swing. 
@vinylshadow
Most people buy the same way, whether the recommendation comes from Michael Framer or your next door neighbor, you got to start somewhere. That or go to trade shows.
One sub might be all you need in a small room to satisfy a single listening  position. You just need to find the right spot to place it. Enjoy your music.
Coincidentally, my listening room was built by my next door neighbor, Michael Framer.
Free APP .....
Harman Industries "How to Listen" .....
"Overview
How to Listen is a desktop software application developed by the Harman International R&D group for the purpose of training and selecting listeners used in audio product research, development, and testing. The software consists of a number of training exercises where different kinds of timbral, spatial and dynamic distortions commonly found within the recording and audio chains are simulated and added to music. The listener’s task is to identify, classify or rate these distortions according to a number of well-defined perceptual attributes and scales. The software automatically adjusts the difficulty of each training task based on the listener’s performance. We are happy to offer a free beta version of this software to audio enthusiasts in the hope that they will use it to improve their critical listening skills and appreciation for high quality sound reproduction. Enjoy! "
FREE  ....  DIY pro listening test......enjoy
@hallock01

The link doesn't seem to work, and the HI website doesn’t seem to know what you are talking about, Hal. Could you perhaps elaborate?
What’s the point, actually? The test likely has biases: since everyone hears differently, whose to say that you won’t get different results with different parameters?  Are they measuring psychological as well as physiological phenomena, etc. 

I would like to know what Poppy Crum has to say about this. 
Agreed, before we can discuss this intelligently we need to see the documentation. And hear the implementation. Hence my question.
This is the best thread topic I have had the joy of reading for a long time, like going back to grad school.  A huge shout out to Teo and Mahgister for their erudition, and especially the tutorial about the Dunning-Kruger Effect, something I long suspected and now see that it an acknowledged phenomenon.  My audiologist would never suggest that I have Golden Ears, but I have been devoted to acquiring great gear to listen to music in my home and have enjoyed every minute of the experience for nearly 50 years.  Now folks can get back to the current discussion of the $85 rocks to put on top of their equipment, a fun discussion, but largely pretty silly.  
If there are golden ears it isn't the hearing ability that is golden it's the ability of the listener to interpret and to what he can hear and to retain as much of it in memory. It's the brain and the listener's experience and concentration that may be golden. The actual hearing of the ear is way down the list.

Correct. We don't even know how to test even the most rudimentary aspects of hearing. We use test tones and this leads us to say high frequency hearing declines with age. But read up on it, this tests only the inner ear cells that detect tones like sine waves. There are THREE TIMES as many that detect transients and timing, they involve frequencies much higher than 20kHz (which is why supertweeters work) and these it seems DO NOT decline with age. 

Case in point. Actual real world demonstration. Discovered by accident. One of the XLO demagnetizing tracks is a sweep tone that goes to 20kHz. To my ears it trails off to nothing but one audiophile is screaming how it hurts his ears. Really? You hear that? Yeah! Tell me when you no longer hear it. And he goes to darn near 20kHz! 

We didn't do a test to see if it was the Moab or the Townshend Supertweeter he was hearing. Doesn't matter. Point is, he not only heard that sine wave it was excruciatingly loud.

Yet when we played music on that same system, no problem. Hearing is completely different for sine waves as complex music sounds. We are not microphones. We do not record acoustic phenomena. Music is a human experience. Listening is an intellectual activity.
On a slightly different vein, how many folks are aware of Arthur B. Lintgen, MD, who could reliably identify recordings by examining the grooves on an LP.  The powers of perception that some folks have is simply amazing.  I clearly don't have any such skills, but do have immense respect for those that do and that makes me very happy. 

https://tonedeaf.thebrag.com/vinyl-vision-meet-the-man-who-can-identify-a-record-by-its-grooves/