In Defense of Audiophiles, Bose, Pass, Toole and Science


I don’t know why I look at Audio Science Reviews equipment reviews, they usually make me bang my head against my desk. The claims they make of being scientific is pretty half-baked. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate measurements, and the time it takes to conduct them, along with insights into the causes, but judging all electronics based on 40+ year old measurements which have not really become closer to explaining human perception and enjoyment, they claim to be objective scientists. They are not. Let me tell you some of the people who are:

  1. Bose
  2. Harman
  3. Nelson Pass
  4. Floyd Toole


This may look like a weird list, but here is what all these have in common: They strive to link together human perception and enjoyment of a product to measurements. Each have taken a decidedly different, but very successful approach. They’ve each asked the question differently. I don’t always agree with the resulting products, but I can’t deny that their approach is market based and scientific.


Floyd Toole’s writing on room tuning, frequency response and EQ combines exact measurements with human perception, and as big a scientist as he is he remains skeptical of measurements, and with good reasons.


The process Nelson Pass uses is exactly right. His hypothesis is that a certain type of distortion, along with other important qualities, are what make for a great sounding amp, and lets face it, the process, and his effectiveness cannot be denied as not being scientific or financially successful. Far more scientific than designing or buying an amp based on THD% at 1 watt alone.


Bose is also very very scientific, but they come at the problem differently. Their question is: What is the least expensive to manufacture product we can make given what most consumers actually want to hear?" Does it work? They have 8,000 employees and approximately $4B in sales per Forbes:


https://www.forbes.com/companies/bose/#1926b3a81c46


Honestly, I don’t know how your average Bose product would measure, but you don’t get to these numbers without science. Assuming they measure poorly, doesn’t that mean measurements are all wrong?


The work Harman has done in getting listening panels together, and trying out different prototypes while adhering to previous science is also noteworthy. Most notably and recently with their testing of speaker dispersion which has resulted in the tweeter wave guides in the latest Revel speakers. They move science forward with each experiment, and then put that out into their products.


Regardless of the camp you fall into, crusty old measurements, perception measurements or individual iconoclast, we also must account for person to person variability. It’s been shown for instance that most people have poor sensitivity to phase shifts in speakers (like me), but if you are THAT person who has severe sensitivity to it, then all those studies don’t mean a thing.


My point is, let’s not define science as being purely in the domain of an oscilloscope. Science is defined by those who push the boundaries forward, and add to our understanding of human perception as well as electron behavior through a semi-conductor and air pressure in a room. If it’s frozen in 40 year old measurements, it’s not science, it's the worship of a dead icon.


Best,


E

erik_squires
how your average Bose product would measure, but you don’t get to these numbers without science. Assuming they measure poorly, doesn’t that mean measurements are all wrong?


To clarify, I meant that I don't know how Bose products would measure given the popular, magazine style measurements we are all familiar with.  I'm sure Bose has their own set of standards and targets.
science serves music reproduction, but does not and cannot define it.

it’s up to human hearing to pass the final approval.

the best designers are most able to determine what tools science offers that get’s them the closest to the sonic vision they have.

when i read about measurements of my personal favorite pieces of hifi gear there is typically a slight disconnect between the surface evidence of apparent measurements and the intent preference of the designer.

and a major problem with measurements is that they use static states and points in time and are not able to reproduce relevant measurements for a dynamically changing result like music. our ears are trained by our lifetimes to do a much better job of reality checking.

products like Bose are just not relevant to what we do here. not much to learn from that process. 
@mikelavigne


I generally agree with you, but as I've been looking into driver measurements I think there's a big divide between what the top level scientists and engineers use for speakers vs. what's available for the general press. In particular, measurements of IM distortion never make it to the consumer rags, but they seem quite prevalent in the professional literature, and I think you correctly state how limiting these static, one number measurements are.

Best,

E
Hi,
i enjoyed some part of it, feels a bit old fashioned, but shows some involvement and has an authoritative name. Single ended triodes will suffer and the majors will prove supremacy. No it is not a conspiracy theory but any conclusion for recommendation based only on measurements will definitely have its fans. Why should a listening perception be justified or otherwise, has to be proven on paper (or a measurement device)? What it would change?
There was a post at the bottom of one of the reviews: listening impressions?
There was a post at the bottom of one of the reviews: listening impressions?


Which, IMHO they are doing wrong and with bias.

You should listen before measurement, or in the absence of knowing what those measurements are. If you measure, analyze and listen, in that order, you are actually creating confirmation bias. 
I have read and watched Floyd Toole more than the others you posted.

How can science, a cold and calculating endeavor if ever there were one, help with delivering the emotions of great music? It is because, in the space between the performers and the audience, music exists as sound waves. Sound waves are physical entities, subject to physical laws, amenable to technical measurement and description and, in most important ways, predictable. The physical science of acoustics allows us to understand the behavior of sound waves as they travel from the musician to the listener, whether the performance is live or recorded.

The scientific method requires measurements and, in audio, we do two kinds: subjective and objective. Then we enter the domain of psychoacoustics, the study of relationships between physical sounds and the perceptions that result from them. Psychoacoustics allows us to understand and interpret measurements in ways that relate to what we hear. However, it is all based on the premise that human listeners agree on what is, and is not, good sound. Individual points of view are a part of human nature. They enrich our lives in countless ways. The world would be a boring place if we were all attracted to the same music, food, wine and people. A commonly expressed point of view is that sound also is “subjective”, that we all “hear differently”, and therefore not all of us prefer the same loudspeakers, amplifiers, etc. It is also alleged that different nationalities, and regions have different preferences in sound. I have always regarded these assertions with suspicion because, if they were true, it would mean that there would be different pianos for each of these regions, different trumpets, bassoons and kettledrums. Vocalists would change how they sang when they were in
Germany, Britain, and the U.S. I wonder what Pavarotti’s Japanese timbre sounds like? Of course, it doesn’t happen that way. The entire world enjoys the same musical instruments and voices in live performance, and the recording industry sends the same recordings throughout the world.

My impression of Toole is he’s basically your garden variety old school gum flapper. 
My impression of Toole is he’s basically your garden variety old school gum flapper.


Toole is a giant and our ability to buy and enjoy the best in audio reproduction rests on the shoulders of men like him.  I don't agree with everything he says, but his engineering skills are top notch and his willingness to pass that to others is priceless.
I am active on ASR but I am trying to be less active. It’s hard because it’s one of the nicer communities that exist in this hobby so I keep coming back. I disagree with you about their measurements and claim that they are unscientific. They are more scientific then Nelson Pass. I won’t make any claims about Bose or Toole but I think Toole is highly respected (and often misquoted) on ASR as well. A lot of the points you make would actually be agreed upon by many ASR members.

Seperate from all of this is my observation that the forum consists largely of sycophants. Amir is too defensive when it comes to criticism of his measurement process, of which there has been plenty. He generally listens to feedback, but not without throwing a fit.

That being said, ASR is one of the best websites that exist online. His measurements are extremely helpful and beneficial for newcomers to the hobby like me.
To me there is a chasm between 'science' and technology applied in creating/making great hifi gear, and 'measurement' as a tool to evaluate gear and assess its quality.  Clearly the former is essential in pushing the state of art forward, both in terms of absolute performance, and in providing more consumers with improved performance at a given price point.  

ASR is an interesting site, like all sites it is seeking attention, membership and participation,  Like all reviews (from JA at Stereophile from way back posting measurements after the qualitative reviews) they need to be taken with a grain of salt, but it still can be informative at some general level, and more importantly, entertaining -- if you are into such things.  

For me, in my travels through this hobby, I just feel that there is only mediocre correlation between gear that sounds great and measures great.  Single ended tube amps driving horns can be a joy, but will measure very poorly.  In the end, it is about the music, I trust my ears to tell me what is better for me, above all else.  
Hey d2girls always a pleasure.

I am active on ASR but I am trying to be less active. It’s hard because it’s one of the nicer communities that exist in this hobby

Seems like that to me!!

I disagree with you about their measurements and claim that they are unscientific. They are more scientific then Nelson Pass.

I think you missed my whole point. Here's the thing, if you define "scientific" as "measurement driven" then you are right, ASR is "scientific."  However, science does not end at the oscilloscope, nor should oscilloscope measurements ascribe value or desirability. That's kind of my point. 

Pass is involved very much in research and development.  He has a target sound, behavior and distortion profile. His approach is very much to experiment, listen and measure. He's doing real life science. It may not be to achieve the targets the folks at ASR think he should, but he's actually pushing the state of the art in matching electronic devices to human experience.  That's science.

If I measure things defined 40 years ago, and give those measurements power to define how I spend money, well, unless I'm buying paint, or lubricant, that is not really scientific. 
@erik_squires
However, science does not end at the oscilloscope, nor should oscilloscope measurements ascribe value or desirability.
I agree.
In answer to your original question, however, I think we are still looking for the complete set of measurements that correlate to what we hear; we have some of parametres but not all of the parametres.

At best we can measure how accurately a device can output a specific input electronically -- but we stumble when it comes to measuring accuracy when it comes to correlating an electrical impulse to sound-waves, for example.

Toole has researched the matter of creating measurements that correlate to what we hear. His work is truly fascinating.

Interesting subject!



erik_squires OP
My impression of Toole is he’s basically your garden variety old school gum flapper.

Toole is a giant and our ability to buy and enjoy the best in audio reproduction rests on the shoulders of men like him. I don’t agree with everything he says, but his engineering skills are top notch and his willingness to pass that to others is priceless.

>>>>>I’m just going by the longish quote djones51 posted. Never get behind anyone 100%, as my boss at NASA used to say. Having said that I’m all for measuring room anomalies with test frequencies and SPL meter, which is more than most folks do.
The intersection of science and marketing appears the true problem. Similar to health care and capitalism or lawyer commercials. Thorny issues and not sure if there is any solution.
It is great to have measurements to a certain extent.  However some obvious examples of how it is used are all over the place:
Pass Labs XA30.8:  Spec sheet says 30 watts.  Read the measurements and it puts out 6 X as much watts.  All of a sudden a 30watt amp can run a 90dB speaker with aplomb. 

A 5 channel amp is advertised as 600W output.  Really is 120 watts per channel. 

A tube amp distortion is much higher but still sounds good. 

"Full Range Speakers" are another example.  Almost all of them sound better with a subwoofer. 

It is important for the consumer to understand the measurements enough to make the right equipment matches.  And it is equally difficult to sift through all the opinions; especially now that we don't have stereo shops on the corner.
Excellent discussion. "Whether scientific measurement is valuable or not" is too crude a question. The issue is, as Erik points out, why we’re measuring, what we’re measuring, and whether or not measurement is called for.

Author and scientist Michael Pollan makes a similar argument about food. We need to figure out what to eat to be healthy, but reducing everything down to "nutrients" and then trying to build back up from that is (a) confusing people, (b) leading to endless debates (which nutrient, how much, etc.) and the end result is (c) to obliterate the traditions we enjoy with food and the sheer pleasure it.

When I read the passage below and sub in "audio measurements" for "nutrients" and "music" for "food," I see a very close parallel between the audio debate and the food debate. Here’s Pollan:

"Nutritionism by and large takes the Western diet as a given, seeking to moderate its most deleterious effects by isolating the bad nutrients in it — things like fat, sugar, salt — and encouraging the public and the food industry to limit them. But after several decades of nutrient-based health advice, rates of cancer and heart disease in the U.S. have declined only slightly (mortality from heart disease is down since the ’50s, but this is mainly because of improved treatment), and rates of obesity and diabetes have soared."

"No one likes to admit that his or her best efforts at understanding and solving a problem have actually made the problem worse, but that’s exactly what has happened in the case of nutritionism. Scientists operating with the best of intentions, using the best tools at their disposal, have taught us to look at food in a way that has diminished our pleasure in eating it while doing little or nothing to improve our health. Perhaps what we need now is a broader, less reductive view of what food is, one that is at once more ecological and cultural. What would happen, for example, if we were to start thinking about food as less of a thing and more of a relationship?"

https://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/unhappy-meals/
Uh, these companies are not charities, right?

Therefore, in the glorious world of advertising and marketing, they excel.

As for their products--bose????  Really?  The company that used ads full of tall young men in horn-rimmed glasses and white lab coats to sell bose 901 "speakers" back in the day?

When I stop laughing, I will go play some music on an actual musical instrument and get the "real" sound I have been looking for all these years from electronics and speakers.

Why not just buy what YOU like and leave it at that?

Cheers!
If humans can hear it it can be measured. How the brain interprets that sound is the focus of science now. Speakers and room acoustics determine most of what we hear. As long as the reproduction chain is as neutral as possible which can be done now then what’s on the medium will get to the speakers. Some don’t like what the recording engineers put on that medium so we have tone controls of various kinds to tweak it to our liking. Distortion in some tube and SS amps, cables designed as tone controls, EQs, Digital processing etc.. are ways we tune our systems to our liking and correct the flaws of our speakers and rooms. But the notion science can’t measure or understand the recording and playback process isn’t correct.
Sorry, but science wouldn’t know sound if it came up and bit them in the buttocks. Old and stodgy, as slow as molasses in January, the science community can’t see the forest for the trees. Lead, follow or get out of the way! The Argument that science or measurements can come to the rescue of audiophile dilemmas is an example of appeal to authority perpetrated by English and history majors. Once we found out that THD doesn’t really mean anything the jig was up and that was 40 years ago. A loss of naiveness as it were.
"The brain is not a computer, and the ear is not a microphone."
 - Nelson Pass

Good post Erik, agree 100%
Look, I have never bought Bose, but NO ONE spends more money on R&D, including measurements and consumer preference than Bose, which they pursue in a very organized and scientific fashion.

I think what many are missing can be summarized:

  • Science includes measuring psycho acoustics and user preferences
  • Science may not lead to the same preferences you have
  • Science can be used to come up with a product you personally dislike

Regardless of your taste or desire to own Bose or Pass, you cannot deny their organized methodology based on experimentation, measurement and discovery.  That. Is. Science.


What is not scientific is recommending a product for humans to buy based on ancient measurements. To make a car analogy, buying based on MPG doesn't tell you anything about your enjoyment or comfort while driving, but those ARE measurable too.  Just like the food analogy introduced above, there are plenty of food scientists who work every day in figuring out how to make a tastier cookie, and only some of their work involves the chemistry lab.

And that's my problem with ASR.  They stop at the chemistry lab and ignore the mouth feel, crunchiness, and taste of blends to the point where they have no correlation between the two, unlike a food scientist who would constantly be connecting the two.


Best,

E
Toole advocates direct A/B comparison of speakers.  Quickly switching between two or more sets of speakers will almost always end you up with the most forward and fatiguing speakers.  The more neutral speaker will seem dull and flat in comparison.  The best way is to spend time with a set, or single for that matter, and play as wide a range of music as possible.  Then switch to the other set, and repeat the process.  
Using the food analogy, science knows eating to much of certain things are bad for us,  what nutrients we need. The problem the scientist is pointing out is one of message or marketing not science.

I've read ASR and like all forums I wouldn't paint it with broad brush. Some are buried in measurements but some accept subjective preferences as long as biases have been controlled. I have also seen some who say they know their opinion is subjective but they still like one component over another and that's fine. What does get very contentious is when some pop up claiming aan item does something or is better without showing why other than their subjective opinion. 
@austin yes! While listening for hours and level matching!!!! 
Toole advocates ...

@austinstereo

I really don’t mean to turn this into a pro/con for each person/brand, or hero worship of anyone I mentioned. I don’t agree with everything anyone says. What I wanted to say was that science is more than a number you read off a gauge.

But, to talk about this particular practice, in an R&D setting, the statement Toole made is completely correct, and one used by many renown speaker makers. In particular it is a great way to find out what is audible and what is not. What is bias vs. what works.  Roger Rusell wrote about this in his site re McIntosh speaker development and he makes a strong case for it.

In the context of a showroom looking to buy your living room pair, no, this is not how I’d do it.


Best,

E
Toole advocates direct A/B comparison of speakers. Quickly switching between two or more
While he has done tests like that he also has done extensive tests where the listener controls when to switch speakers they just don’t know which speakers they are switching and neither did the testers it was controlled with a computer by random. Of course they are volume leveled, what good is a test without doing the obvious,
The one point I would offer comment on is Nelson Pass (comments apply greatly to Tools). Pass is in business because he loves this stuff. His thinking pushes the envelope always. The First Watt F1 is an example. Bose started when he realized we don't understand how we hear. The company today is less like the original and more like Dr. Dre Beats products. And on on and on. Ya do it for love first and money second, and you find innovation and greatness. Just one more opinion ..
The point is surely that we need new and different measurements, as the standard existing ones fail so often to correlate.  Measurements that are defined by experts in acoustics and then implemented by electronic engineers, rather than ones that are "accepted" and the latter group is comfortable with.
In summary, again:

"Don’t call buying audio equipment scientific just because you hooked it up to a scope. It isn’t scientific at all, it’s just your personal, and very emotional, buying choices."

In fact, buying from a scope's output is irrational, unless that scope's pleasure brings you joy.

Does this mean every a
I really like the sound i get from my system. It allows me to forget about my components and focus on music. Do the individual pieces or collective components measure well? Don't know and don't care. Just like with cars, there are many cars with better specs than a Porsche, but if you've ever taken one out on a spirited drive, you'd realize there's more that makes for a pure driving experience than technical specifications.

J.Chip
Another pair of mistakes quasi-scientists make are the following two, related points:

  • Equating absence of evidence as being equal to evidence of absence, something no beginning researcher or statistician would do
  • Believing that we know everything already, something constantly disproved in all branches of science and engineering.
I think of Harman as being in the 'we sell speakers' business.  As such, they would like their research to guide them in the direction of what what do consumers prefer based on Harman's correlations of preferences with the linearity of the frequency response, the slope of the frequency response and the Sound Power DI.
Knowing how the measurements correlate allows them to produce a higher percentage of product that people will buy...in other words, fewer clunkers.
Sometimes I get the feeling on ASR that there is a cult like devotion to the numbers over the sound.  Meaning, if it measures well, then you should prefer it...and if you don't, maybe it is you that is at fault.  In addition, there seem sometimes to be a lack of appreciation for the hard to describe and measure things like imaging or soundstage.
All in all though, I'm a supporter of measuring because it will ultimately drive product improvement...but, at the end of the day...you have to try it in your room, with your gear and your music to know if gives you the emotional connection you want.
HI,
This is a nice hobby, turning it to rocket science you kill it.
If you get the most technically advanced car with the best specs on paper or else would it still be a fun to drive?
I do not know if this is a good example but I like driving.
Out of the 4 different approaches towards the use of science as a tool, which it has long been for everyone but the complete charlatan, I’d say Floyd Toole’s (Harman) approach is the closest towards finding an objective truth.

Anyone doubting that could do worse than to read his book Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms. Well worth the price of a few joke hi-fi magazines.

Bose, on the other hand is the closest towards giving the average non-audiophile listener what sounds good to them. I’ve never heard a poor Bose product, nor an outstanding one either, but that’s not what they’re about. Amar Bose, a professor at MIT, knew enough about listener preferences and marketing to build a hugely successful company. Nuff said.

Nelson Pass I don’t know much about, he’s still fairly unknown in the UK, except he seems to come across as a genial maverick. Besides, don’t we already know that most amplifiers sound virtually the same?

Let’s be straight about the importance of sound, everyone from Alan Shaw, Alon Wolf, Andrew Jones, Billy Woodman, John DeVore, Laurence Dickie, Peter Comeau, Peter Thomas, Sean Casey etc use science, they always did - right from the very beginning.

Let’s not kid ourselves about testing methods either, any loudspeaker, at any cost, that measures well in 2020 is virtually guaranteed to sound good.

Any loudspeaker, at any cost, that doesn’t, isn’t guaranteeing anything other than wallowing forever lost in the audio’s circle of confusion.

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/10/audios-circle-of-confusion.html?m=1
In 1977, when Bose was a small company and the original 901s were current in the market, I had the distinct privilege of attending a lecture by Dr. Amar Bose.  I was a young 22-year-old and working as a stereo salesman for Pacific Stereo (a large chain, stereo retailer) in Southern California.  The setting was in the home of the Bose Sales Rep Company and the size of our group was about 12.  Food and wine, then Dr. Bose.  What a wonderful presentation!  I can tell you that Bose speaker development was most certainly driven by science.  Funny thing is, I didn't like the sound then and never have since.  Bose' scientific development of speakers did not result in the sound that "moved me".  But I did sell a lot of Bose speakers.  I was able to use the teachings of Dr. Bose directly to my sales presentations.  The consumers loved them and paid their hard earned money to buy them.  Was that due to marketing and hype?  Was that due to the sound they were hearing?  I can't really say.  But truth of the matter is that Dr. Bose certainly chose the path of science in developing his speakers.  What the company is today, however, is very different from what it was back then.  But that is an entirely different topic of sheer business.  Anyway, it was very cool to meet Dr. Bose and hear what he had to say.  It's a good memory for me, do doubt.
And now, after finishing my career in the CE industry (several very nice jobs, on the factory side of the business), I am retired and, once again, back to building my latest (and best) home high-fidelity music system.  What a pleasure it is!
What other scientific endeavor accepts subjective opinion as evidence and rejects scientifically accepted DBX testing as worthless? 
How does this defend “audiophiles”?  



djones51
What other scientific endeavor accepts subjective opinion as evidence and rejects scientifically accepted DBX testing as worthless?

>>>>>Ironically it’s only your opinion that DBX testing is accepted by all scientific endeavors, and your opinion is actually false. It is certainly not accepted in the audio endeavor for all the reasons I’ve oft pointed out. Much to the chagrine of pseudo skeptics everywhere. 😩 😩 😳 😤 😤😡🤬
Good catch, mapman, it doesn’t. It defends “scientific” institutions like AES and other stodgy Backward 🔙 orgs.
Mapman comment is exactly my point.  Dr. Bose used science in developing his 901 speakers.  On paper, and through his presentation, it all made sense.  But, for me the speakers just didn't sound good.  I am more of an audiophile today than I was back then (though, I still have  much to learn and enjoy doing so).  However, who cares about being an audiophile or not when it comes to enjoying the music and, indeed, the sound quality.  If you like it, then great!  If you don't like it, fortunately there are a lot of options to choose from.  Posted "scientific" specs don't mean a whole lot if you don't prefer the sound of the product you are listening to.  Try out, seek out, and listen to various products.  Make your decisions to own what sounds good to YOU.
Enjoy the music! 
What other scientific endeavor accepts subjective opinion as evidence and rejects scientifically accepted DBX testing as worthless?

this is music, it’s art. we are not counting beans. we are looking for inspiration and pleasure.

it’s fair to see where science can assist, but that is besides the point. i'm after a feeling after a listening session, not an A/B decision.

this is not a science project.
In my opinion, one of the concepts Amar Bose got right was this:  The spectral content and amount of energy in the reverberant field matters. 

His measurements of typical ratios of direct to reflected sound in a concert hall led to the Bose 901, which has one front-firing driver and nine rear-firing ones. 

But he missed the boat on time domain's significance.  Relative to the concert hall, there is a MUCH shorter time gap between the first arrival sound and the onset of reflections in a living room.  Too much energy in the early reflections ruins the clarity. 

So in our smaller home audio rooms the spectral content and amount of energy in the reverberant field still matters, but we want a much higher direct-to-reverberant ratio at home because of the much shorter arrival times of the reflections. 

Imo. 

Duke
In my opinion, one of the concepts Amar Bose got right was this: The spectral content and amount of energy in the reverberant field matters.

His measurements of typical ratios of direct to reflected sound in a concert hall led to the Bose 901, which has one front-firing driver and nine rear-firing ones.


Yep, but to be fair, Bose product development has moved on greatly from this point in time. They have practically reinvented themselves, and while desktop/kitchen top devices, sound bars and headphones may not be for the audiophile's target audience, there's no doubt that they keep designing and delivering products which sell at a premium markup.
The Concorde was a fabulous aircraft. Unfortunately it kept crashing. Oh, well, that’s life in the fast lane. 

this is not a science project.
As far as sound reproduction it pretty much is science. Science doesn't assist without science the jewelry you're playing that "art" on wouldn't exist. 
"The Concorde was a fabulous aircraft. Unfortunately it kept crashing."
Kept crashing? How many crashes did it have? One? One!
There are audio scientists succeeding in measuring and selling amazing products. Anyone stay abreast of hearing aids these days?
 And everyone is still ignoring the economics. "Hey boss I just spent the last 2 years developing these awful sounding speakers...how about a raise?" 
No pure R&D out there that I know of. 
Measurements mere marketing. (or means to buy little pink panthers)
Subjective hearing mere justification for spending your wife's inheritance.
Someone above said you ruin it by making it rocket science. Amen to that.
The Concorde was a fabulous aircraft. Unfortunately it kept crashing.


To be clear, only one crashed.  The remaining fleet flew off the edge of the world and were never found. Same happened to my uncle's family.  That flat earth is a killer.