Talk but not walk?


Hi Guys

This isn't meant to start a fight, but it is important to on lookers. As a qualifier, I have my own audio forum where we report on audio issues as we empirically test them. It helps us short cut on theories and developing methods of listening. We have a wide range of systems and they are all over the world adding their experiences to the mix. Some are engineers, some are artist and others are audiophiles both new and old. One question I am almost always asked while I am visiting other forums, from some of my members and also members of the forum I am visiting is, why do so many HEA hobbyist talk theory without any, or very limited, empirical testing or experience?

I have been around empirical testing labs since I was a kid, and one thing that is certain is, you can always tell if someone is talking without walking. Right now on this forum there are easily 20 threads going on where folks are talking theory and there is absolutely no doubt to any of us who have actually done the testing needed, that the guy talking has never done the actual empirical testing themselves. I've seen this happen with HEA reviewers and designers and a ton of hobbyist. My question is this, why?

You would think that this hobby would be about listening and experience, so why are there so many myths created and why, in this hobby in particular, do people claim they know something without ever experimenting or being part of a team of empirical science folks. It's not that hard to setup a real empirical testing ground, so why don't we see this happen?

I'm not asking for peoples credentials, and I'm not asking to be trolled, I'm simply asking why talk and not walk? In many ways HEA is on pause while the rest of audio innovation is moving forward. I'm also not asking you guys to defend HEA, we've all heard it been there done it. What I'm asking is a very simple question in a hobby that is suppose to be based on "doing", why fake it?

thanks, be polite

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net


Bfbc100a 64c1 4696 8ad2 e1a6e37e3201michaelgreenaudio
In some instances, knowing the theory allows one to make an informed prediction as to the outcome. There are certain laws in physical science that cannot be avoided.  
michaelgreenaudio

It’s not that hard to setup a real empirical testing ground, so why don’t we see this happen?

It’s actually very tricky to set up and conduct a truly scientific listening test. Perhaps it’s become a trivial undertaking for you, but conducting a valid test is not as easy as it might appear to the casual observer. That makes it easy for such a person to dismiss an audiophile’s experience with a wave of the hand and the instruction to "prove it in a blind test."

There are also those who believe they are exempt from proving their claims because science is already on their side. That may sound absurd, but it’s a common claim, as evidenced by the post from @brf just above this post.

Then there are those who believe that no listening test can possibly be scientific. While I don’t agree with them, I do think that most audiophiles have little use for scientific, blind testing. It tends to be a tedious, cumbersome and time-consuming endeavor and - when the test is complete - often fails to prove much.

I don’t care for the notion expressed in the cliche of not walking the walk. Real audiophiles "walk the walk" when they make decisions about their systems. That some may not like their gait is their problem. Just because someone doesn’t do things your way does not make then a fake, as you allege.

As for the myths: The world is filled with myths, and audio is not unique in the regard.
Reminds me of the 3 men renting a $30.00 room, each payed $10.00, clerk gave bellhop $5.00 to return, he kept $2.00 and gave each man $1.00 making their outlay $9.00 each. 9X3=$27.00+$2.00 that the bellhop kept =$29.00. Sometimes things just don’t add up. Your ears are the real test.
There are also those who believe they are exempt from proving their claims because science is already on their side. That may sound absurd, but it’s a common claim, as evidenced by the post from @brf just above this post
@cleeds, scientific theory is an in-depth explanation of the observed phenomenon supported by a large body of empirical data. If we have an observed phenomenon in which is supported by large body of empirical data, why do you feel the need for more validation? Perhaps you are confusing hypothesis with theory?



brf
scientific theory is an in-depth explanation of the observed phenomenon supported by a large body of empirical data. If we have an observed phenomenon in which is supported by large body of empirical data, why do you feel the need for more validation? Perhaps you are confusing hypothesis with theory?
No, I'm not confused at all.  When data and scientific theory conflict, sometimes more data is needed. Science is not infallible. "Scientific theory" is just that: a theory. Perhaps you are confusing theory with fact?

I think most folks on a site like this who are serious about getting good sound listen carefully to everything,  read up on things, and their room at home is the only  "real empirical testing ground" available.  Once the tests are successful and meet their goals then they stop.   Until their goals maybe change again... 

Weird Science?
Some of us here have been asking the very same questions you bring up only to have it thrown back in our faces. Its the first thing we ask of them: have you tried it?. Simply relating what we hear infuriates some to the point they will do anything to derail the conversation, e.g., bringing up their credentials, their expertise, trying their best to dominate the person and/or conversation, and anything to steer it off into the weeds in order to avoid never trying it, or walking the walk, as you say.

Simply circling back and asking them to try it can make some all the more obnoxious and condescending. They hold it as a grudge and wait to pounce at the opportunity, bringing all their baggage with them.

I've stated before that I've a sneaking suspicion that most of these arguments aren't about the product being debated, but a need of sorts in those individuals to fill some void in their souls. Something latent is driving them to manifest their ire at those who are willing to simply try something by circumventing the norms that they adhere to. It's more a character trait (flaw) than anything else.

Mind you, I'm only speaking of the uglier of those who respond that way and not everyone who holds a contrary point of view.

All the best,
Nonoise
In some cases, like many expensive esoteric tweaks, there is little or no empirical information offered by anyone, including vendors. Why should people try that? I get it that those offered free or discounted product to try will be more inclined. I’ve even done that on occasion. Everyone is free to make their own choices for their own reasons and offer their own "opinions". They should not feel threatened by other contradictory viewpoints.   Unless they are trying to sell something....

Hi Nonoise

Yep, we have a no trolling policy on our forum and to be honest people would look pretty foolish trolling TuneLand. TuneLand is 100% empirical.

There's a few examples on here that happen a lot on HEA forums that don't happen on ours and others, and sometimes I wonder why folks haven't yet got past them.

here's a biggie

I see a lot on here where people will call a recording "bad" (I'm not talking about performers) and they say their system is revealing instead of saying their system can't play that recording. It's like they can't take responsibility for their sound. Empirically speaking, if a recording doesn't sound good that's an indication that the recording and system are out of tune with each other, and there's a need to put them in tune. It surprises me that folks don't get that many times.

In fact I'm interested to hear folks response to that on this thread, and maybe I can even convince some of our guys to respond.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

"In some cases, like many expensive esoteric tweaks, there is little or no empirical information offered by anyone, including vendors. Why should people try that?"

Hi Mapman

If I was a client not the vendor, I wouldn’t trust most of HEA. HEA should be further along in their listening, and how to get there, than they are. It’s not just the tweaks, it’s big time with the components and speakers.

Once a listener finds the path of progression, making the system respond isn’t that hard. What is hard is listening to all the hype and half baked theories.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

@cleeds No, I still believe that you are confusing hypothesis with theory. A hypothesis is a suggested solution for an unexplained occurrence that does not fit into current accepted scientific theory. If the data does not support the hypothesis, either more data is required or the hypothesis is deemed false.

 

As previously mentioned, a scientific theory is an in-depth explanation of the observed phenomenon supported by a large body of empirical data and is accepted by the majority of scientists within that area of study

 

I believe that @michaelgreenaudio choice of the word theory is misleading. I believe what he meant to say is a lot of people are hypothesizing or using an educated guess and attempting to pass it off as a scientific theory without providing the prerequisite empirical evidence.

 

BTW, Facts are simple, basic observations that have been shown to be true and are one of the four  major concepts in science. The other three being hypotheses, theories and laws.


michaelgreenaudio
I see a lot on here where people will call a recording "bad" ... they say their system is revealing instead of saying their system can’t play that recording. It’s like they can’t take responsibility for their sound. Empirically speaking, if a recording doesn’t sound good that’s an indication that the recording and system are out of tune with each other, and there’s a need to put them in tune.
Oh no, that’s completely mistaken. "Empirical" means based on observation - as opposed to based on theory. What you’re talking about here is theory. If a recording sounds bad on my system, that’s empirical, based on my listening (observation).

There are many bad - even very bad - recordings. That alone is hardly an indication that these audio systems need "tuning."


I try to report here on Audiogon using my ears. It would be nice if we all do this. Less speculation - yes, fine. But often it is impossible. We dont have the same recordings,.systems, etc. Informed "guessing" from Audiogon members - even if they have not heard my system - has been very helpful for me.
mapman
"In some cases, like many expensive esoteric tweaks, there is little or no empirical information offered by anyone, including vendors. Why should people try that?"

>>>>>Frankly, who cares? That’s obviously a page taken from some pseudo skeptic’s manifesto, you know, like the ones you see on just about every thread on this forum. The entire statement is a Strawman argument anyway - “many,” “expensive,” “esoteric,” “little or no empirical information,” “by anyone,” “including vendors.” Obviously written by a tweakaphobe and an anti-audiophile. 

“Why should people try it?” Try it, don’t try it. Who cares?


Hi brf

I'm just going to go with this for now.

"a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained."

I know it's a wide brush, but it's an accepted one. But, your words may be much better than mine and it's totally fine with me if you want to substitute. I'm a "do" guy so please excuse my lack of vocabulary.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

Fully agree - geoffkait.
Maybe 80 percent of my tweaks have not worked out. 20 percent have worked out very well indeed. Only an idiot would overlook that. Terms like "esoteric" - as if sound was somewhat alien...

Hi cleeds

Here's a good example

"Oh no, that’s completely mistaken. "Empirical" means based on observation - as opposed to based on theory. What you’re talking about here is theory. If a recording sounds bad on my system, that’s empirical, based on my listening (observation).

There are many bad - even very bad - recordings. That alone is hardly an indication that these audio systems need "tuning."

cleeds

This is what I'm talking about. Your saying "Oh no" but your not basing that on "doing" anything about the bad sound. What if we were able to take that "bad recording" and make your system so it sounded good or even excellent?

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

Sorry, Michael Green, but "empirical" means based on observation rather than based on theory. I don't have to do anything - other than listen - to have empirical evidence. And that's what your post sought, based on your own words:
" ... folks are talking theory and there is absolutely no doubt to any of us who have actually done the testing needed, that the guy talking has never done the actual empirical testing themselves."

Mchael Green,

You are right. Not limited to tweaks by any stretch. Esoteric or otherwise.

People can buy whatever they want for whatever reason they want, real or imagined. The only thing that really matters is what matters to each in the end.   Many could care less about objective factors.

Hi cleeds

It's only theory until you do it, and then my friend it becomes science. But like the OP (me) is saying is, your choosing not to make your system play it.

As a reference I conducted this empirical testing for Stereophile, TAS and maybe 50 other magazines. We took a recording they claimed to be "bad" and after tuning their system to the recording they reversed their findings of the recording. Look up Tom Miiller of TAS when we did this with "Selling England by the pound" and "the Final cut". I've also done (as in "walk") this with Harry Pearson and several thousands of clients. In fact we do this on a regular bases and every day.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

Hi Mapman

It’s a journey and all of have that built in desire for the sound we want.

Ever read someone talk about a recording on here calling it terrible, and you’ve played that same recording on your setup and it sounds great? That’s one of the places HEA got itself stuck. In some ways and with some people it’s an angry hobby, but the thing is it doesn’t have to be.

If we took the collective sound of everyone on this forum and put us all together we would find that there are very few "bad" recordings. Someone somewhere is listening to "that" recording and it sounds fantastic. So the question is "why doesn’t it sound great on every system". The answer to this has been out there for many years, but when you have a hobby that is not flexible enough everyone is hearing that recording differently and disagreeing on it’s performance. HEA has become too discrete. The systems are so stuck in their sound they only play a certain range of recordings. But here’s the thing, we will either turn every thread into and argument or we will learn to tune our systems.

Thanks for your posts I'm excited about reading more.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

michaelgreenaudio

Hi cleeds

It's only theory until you do it, and then my friend it becomes science. But like the OP (me) is saying is, your choosing not to make your system play it.

You actually don't know anything about my system, or how I've set it up. You are also still confused about the meaning of the word "empirical." Perhaps you should look up its meaning for yourself, unless your goal here is to obfuscate.

Your notion that once you "do it" somehow "it becomes science" is absurd. In any event, anyone can listen to their audio system all day long, and will accumulate "empirical" evidence along the way. Listening is empirical, because listening is observation, and "empirical" means observation, by definition.

Please look it up.


Michael;
Many years ago I called you on the phone and we spoke. I found you incredibly intelligent, articulate, and generous with your time. But I also thought you were way out on the fringe-and I say this with no malice-I like people on the fringe and believe this world needs people who look at things far differently than the so called "lemmings", a group that most of us belong to to one degree or another. You told me that if I were to take my B&W 805 Matrix loudspeakers that I used at that time and mount them from ceiling to floor in some special clamp you had designed that would rigidly fix them in space, my mind would be blown with the most life-like sound I had ever heard. I conjured up images of my wife packing her bags while you proceeded to explain arcane sound science theory to me. 
But let me ask you this; do you know of a single empirical test that explains Van Gough's Starry Night or Da Vinci's Mona Lisa? You will respond no doubt, "well, what do you mean by "explain?". And I will counter that no Spock-like super-intelligent alien from outer space could observe either painting for hour after hour and react to them the way many humans do. And no such theoretical life-form could explain why some people react the way they do and others do not. Now you will no doubt try to retort that my challenge actually supports and does not negate what you are trying to say and we will be back to counting angels on the point of a pin.
Btw, do you happen to understand the remarks of Geoff Kait? I am wondering if the two of you "out there on the fringe" share a common language. I can understand you most of the time but for the life of me, despite having graduated with honors with an English Degree from a well respected institution of higher learning and having a law degree from an even higher regarded law school and being a semi-well-respected lawyer, I just can't-to save my life-figure out what he is talking about or trying to say 99.99% of the time. Perhaps if nothing else you can assist in serving as his interpreter from time to time should you feel so inclined. The easy joke to make is that perhaps you are the same person but again, I can tell that you have a good command of basic English and you are articulate and communicative and Mr. Kait may as well be speaking Klingon. 
michaelgreenaudio

Ever read someone talk about a recording on here calling it terrible, and you've played that same recording on your setup and it sounds great? ... Someone somewhere is listening to "that" recording and it sounds fantastic. So the question is "why doesn't it sound great on every system"

There many explanations, the most obvious being a matter of personal taste, but the variables are countless. Some people have poor systems, or improperly setup systems, or malfunctioning systems, or an unidentified failed component in the system. They may have extremely bad electric service, or an acoustically bad room, or they may be half-deaf. They may have a prejudice against the artist, or the artist's genre, or the record cover.

Maybe they were listening to a different pressing, or a defective pressing, or, or, or ....


@michaelgreenaudio thank you for initiating this thread.

You raise the very same issue I often wonder when reading so many the threads these days. People with no actual experience with something, and even blatantly say they will not try, spend inordinate amounts of time writing posts about how something works or sounds. Or, more usually, how something CANNOT work or sound.

One of my earliest and best lessons I learned in audio was that drinking by the label absolutely presents a losing recipe.

In all honesty, I have never understood the rancor some have towards folks who found something they enjoy. Some here evidently have a god / hero / policeman complex where they try to save the world, and spend more time writing parking tickets than something that would actually benefit the rest of the community, or even their own existences. But they obviously feel gallant in their own minds as they labor to save the world from spending money on something they don’t like, disagree with, or doesn’t make any logical sense to them. The irony lies in that the more these folks rail against these things, the more the other side wins the air time to tout what the antagonists despise so deeply.

Though I’ll also put out that if the protagonists simply refrained from answering their foes, they’d also be a lot happier as it’s patently obvious so many who carry on these arguments do it for the attention it brings them. Ignore them, and they’ll go away from your discussion threads. By that I mean, if you want to talk about the happiness X brought to you, instead of going tit for tat day after day, week after week, month after month with these other people, just overlook their posts, and focus on your conversations. They’ll stamp their feet a bit, and go a bit more extreme in trying to get a reaction, but watch how they die off, and find some other bowl of corn flakes to try to urinate in.

As for me, I’m in this hobby for my own personal enjoyment. And I’ve made some great friends along the way. If I don’t like or want a [piece of music / component / person / wire / tweak / fuse / whatever], going on a crusade tilting against windmilss seems like a colossal waste of my time and my life. Live and let live

cleeds

Your making an issue when there isn't one buddy. I'm totally hip with observation. Your getting hung up on nothingness.

"Definition of science for English Language Learners. : knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation."

Looks like it's going to be a long boring thread of webster-izing.

I do know one thing about your system, you think I'm judging it, and maybe even judging you, wrong tree. I appreciate you input.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net 

Hi trelja

Excellent post!!!

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

@michaelgreenaudio 

I like your use of "bad" recordings to tune a system. It's only been through trial and error, system tweaking, speaker placement, etc. that I take out some of those old, unlistenable CDs that we all have lying around and now find them better, if not great sounding. It's always been that little test I do for myself. Some of those older, bad sounding CDs can be some real gems.

All the best,
Nonoise
michaelgreenaudio

Your making an issue when there isn't one buddy. I'm totally hip with observation

Great - we're on the same page. If only every forum issue could be so easily resolved!

And I've often asked the same thing as you in your first post: 

why do so many HEA hobbyist talk theory without any, or very limited, empirical testing or experience?
That's a mystery for the ages.
Michael, I take all kinds of crap from folks here, primarily the respondents to this thread so far, for wanting the measurements. The irony is I don't have much test gear at all. I wish I did. I want to know what I'm hearing. 

Hi fsonicsmith

Wow that must have been a long time ago. Good to here from you. Could you imagine actually building them. I would think that months after we talked is when I came out with the tunable speakers. I took everything I learned from those types of stands and made them into speakers. Now, many years later, the speakers are very much like musical instruments. Very light weight and of course tunable.

It was a fun and interesting learning curve coming from the recording and performance world to HEA. What I didn't know was how needy the market was for tunable products. In music making so many things are about tuning, and when I opened my first HEA shop in the early 80's it was somewhat weird to me that the listener knew so little about tuning. But I didn't act on it until RoomTune (sorta-kinda). I would say about the time that the Chameleon came out is when the big picture became more clear. You obviously talked to me during that creative learning curve time. Also keep in mind I was still on tour while going through my first couple of RoomTune years. The folks I worked with in music encouraged me not to mix HEA with recording. They felt that my credibility in the pro world would be damaged if I hung out with the high end geeks. That was just their perception at the time.

"Van Gough's Starry Night or Da Vinci's Mona Lisa?"

I'm a Picasso guy.

Every piece of music is a huge canvas, much bigger than what we play on most systems. I'm into real size real space, that I have carried with me from my recording days and doing sound for the Atlanta Symphony. I've also designed a few concert halls and studios of my own since we last talked so I'm sure me, as a student, has changed quite a bit. As far as Tuning there are now over 100,000 RoomTuners and a few thousand Tunees, so that's different as well. I work with about 400 active ones.

as far as Geoff

Even though Geoff's job and my job come from two different paths and Geoff's personality and mine are quite different I've come to appreciate Geoff's commitment to his calling. I believe Geoff fits in these HEA forums more than I do. I come here to convert folks to tuning and to allow people hunting for me to find me. I kind of dropped out of HEA in "97". One I had saturated my market here for RoomTune and two I had some really good offers from SUNY to design a music wing for them, some big studios, move to Nashville (working with their studios) and work with Herman Miller. I kept a smaller factory going but pulled my ads from the HEA. HEA stalled and started to decline and I didn't want to get stuck in that trend. When the mom and pop HEA stores went under that changed things for a lot of folks, many of whom simply folded up their tents.

So, lumping me in with Geoff is a bit of a stretch. But, I think you guys don't realize how similar you and Geoff are. When I read these threads I don't really see much of a difference with the exception that Geoff is wittier than anyone on these pages when it comes to a trolling contest. You should just face it, Geoff is part of the AGon fabric. And Geoff is no dummy. Geoff studies the hobby and science. I've seen Geoff misstep and the very next debate learn from what he didn't know and use it in that next debate. You guys may not realize his ability to learn because you are too busy getting beatup by him, but I've watched him absorb facts about audio and share them. I disagree with Geoff on a few issues but believe if I was with him in a room tuning it would be fun. I also believe if he ever came over to the totally tunable side, he would be deadly at changing this hobby. No one in audio forum talk today is more persistent than Geoff.

I think you guys can and have learned a lot from Geoff. I know I have tried (I think) every thing he asked me to try when we were on Stereophile at the same time. BTW I did not enjoy Geoff at all on Stereophile and couldn't believe they let him post there. And if I became the target of Geoff's on this forum I would say bye, see you next year. I don't like tension type interchanges and Geoff is the master at creating tension. I'm very thankful to him for not drawing his target on my back this time. And you have to admit he really knows how to get you guys panties in a bunch.

OK this was too long winded but fun.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

Some people, it appears, have placed themselves in a box or have allowed the walls to be erected around them over time where they can only see things one way and those who approach a topic from a different perspective are wrong, no matter what their observations and experiences reveal to them.

We have a stable of posters here who are science addicted.  I guess I've been in this hobby so long (45 years) that I've experienced changes within my system that science might have a hard time fitting into its paradigm. If you think about it, this whole audio endeavor is experiential and thus an empirical experience.  Whether I have science to explain, for example, the height, width and depth of my system's soundscape matters not at all to me.  I just want to put my feet up and let the music take me away. 

Hi cleeds & kosst

One thing that I hope you guys and others learn about me is, I’m a sponge. I love learning a little bit more from all you guys every day I can make it up here. My mind is all about the variables of audio, it has been since I was a little kid. I have never looked at another listener as wrong. To me you guys are the masters of your own hobby. The only thing I do that may be a little different is explore on more of an extreme level. Almost every day of my life has either been in the studio, on tour, in my listening rooms or shops, and your listening rooms (generally speaking). Go read a review on me. What you will find is me setting up and tuning in someone’s system. It’s all I’ve ever done. I’m just crazy about this hobby. I get down on HEA, but my love for the soundstage is my specialty. I simply love exploring music and making it.

So yes, please do. If you see one of my threads and you have a point to make, make it. I may see it a little different or encourage Tuning, pushing it every chance I get, but that’s who I am. I do nothing but make music 24/7 and learning from you guys is like treasure to me. I may ask you "now did you try this, or just talking about it" but try to remember I don’t take it lightly and if I haven’t tried it, I’m going to based on your suggestions. That’s the way I’ve always been. I believe in all the variables.

So thanks, I hope we all become friends.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

oh HiFi  "I just want to put my feet up and let the music take me away."

yeah man, you got it!

To all of the contributors, I have only begun exploring this "hobby" since retiring and have had a few false starts trying to find out what it was I wanted to do in retirement. I spent 35 years with my nose in engineering, traffic engineering actually, making cars come into the city in the morning and getting them home at night. Do you realise how many billions it costs a cities industry to keep the roads moving per DAY? It was the most thankless job anyone could do because the only thing a driver sees is a red light or the bumper of the stopped car ahead, and don't they bitch about it! I would guess 99% of you have almost every day. Was there thanks? Only when there was a requirement the get the American President from AF1 to the Governor's House in a 30 car, 20 motorcycle precession, non stop, green all the way and no traffic ahead. Security took months of planning, my job took 30 minutes because I could do it so well. And I taught my 12 engineers and the traffic management 24/7 group to do it (sort of because they were primarily call/complaint takers). Every day I drive on the road I look at the traffic signals thinking how I could improve the flow. Every day I drive.

My body finally gave up and I have had a major joint replacement or back surgery every year since 2013. 5 back surgeries since 2000 and now have cancer.

Where am I going with this? This (and other forums) are my lifeline to my adopted hobby. I realised in the 60's how much I liked music. But family, job and dedication left no time. Now I have time, I have to recreate my life out of the engineering job I had. Even after 2 years out of it, I had a major manufacturer ring me yesterday to ask if I could fix a problem for them. A commercial company ring one person in the whole of Australia. I am still thinking whether I'll take them up on their cry for help. It's costing them millions from sales.

Where was I ? Yes, I look to this forum, each contributor to learn from. I hate the spite and sarcasm that appears, but we are all individuals with our own way of imparting experiences, or expression of ideas, pro or con.

Michael, I think this is a great way of passing and exchanging experience and knowledge to those who already know or those people who want to know more of the subject. There is so much to equipment, the way each individual component interconnects with the next, to finally come out as music. Then there is the way we want to hear it individually. How to set up a room. What cables work best, cleaning. There is so much, only restricted by budget, appreciation of what you are hearing and how to get the best out of it. Appreciate Picasso and Da Vinci. Two painters with different styles to be appreciated of their own. 

I always pointed my front speakers to focus together just beyond my wife's and my chairs. I took chance and pointed them about 6 degrees out to the side walls and opened up a whole new room of sound!

Learning, what we read, we learn, for good or bad, that's up to us, but this forum is for us to impart, exchange and learn.

(Sorry for the big diatribe...) Adrian

Michael, I think this is a great way of passing and exchanging experience and knowledge to those who already know or those people who want to know more of the subject.    Learning, what we read, we learn, for good or bad, that's up to us, but this forum is for us to impart, exchange and learn.

Well said.  Methinks too often people get stuck in the weeds and forget the true purpose of a forum such as this.  Tuneland may be the exception but in general, HEA forums are no different from other online places where the exchange of ideas and learning e.g. astrophotography, photography, etc. the participants generally loose focus and go off the deep end.   No one started out in this hobby an expert.  They had to learn from those that came before.  
This discussion has been enlightening. One particular idea that hit home with me is tuning a system to negate what is at first thought of as a bad recording. I've done this. But I won't anymore. I just want to listen and enjoy music most of the time. Let me point out that I tweek everything. None of my stereo equipment has avoided modifications. But when it's time to listen I want to enjoy the music and not have to adjust to maximize every recording I choose. I recently returned a MOFI LP to music direct. It sounded off. The replacement was excellent. Should I have kept the first one and changed my system to suit the recording each time I played it?  I used to do that. Maybe grab a different cartridge and get it setup. That's about 10 minutes between recordings, right? I guess I lost the patience for that. 
I realize I didn't comment on your main question. That's because I don't have an answer (or a theory or a hypothesis). I can't even explain why some people respond with anger or animosity or disinformation to everything these days.  If they get something out of that I can't fathom it. 
Good luck in your quest to understand others in this hobby...or anywhere. 
I can't even explain why some people respond with anger or animosity or disinformation to everything these days.  If they get something out of that I can't fathom it.
@vinylfan62 It's called trolling -- and I agree, doesn't make sense except they get their rocks off by doing it and everyone else has to endure their deliberate deception and rudeness.  
Michael,
We can read about audio and tuning as much as we want and it will not tell us if we will enjoy music on whatever system is being written about. The only way to know is to listen. Why not get a room at one of the audio shows and set up a $1,000 system that blows away all the high-end systems and makes every recording sound good, no, not just good, awe inspiring, to everyone who hears them. That would be doing us all a great service. Writing threads about how the high-end is dead and tunable systems are what we really need, not so much.
My car, really most any stock car audio system, helps make all kinds of poor recordings sound decent. My car is not tuned to these poor classic rock recordings etc... No, the fact is there is a sameness that a stock car audio system impacts on all recordings so they all sound decent. Is this fidelity to the actual recording? No. Far from it.

What are we after with our home audio systems? Homogenized sound that allows us to play objectively poor recordings well? Perhaps or perhaps not?
"My car, really most any stock car audio system, helps make all kinds of poor recordings sound decent. My car is not tuned to these poor classic rock recordings etc... No, the fact is there is a sameness that a stock car audio system impacts on all recordings so they all sound decent. "

In all honesty this is what i expereinced too.

Over the years I have been pondering why is it that some of my recordings sounds just plain and un-ivolving but when I play it in my car it sounds simply amazing or decent. I started off this hobby from car audio and slowly went into home audio. Now I would not place my self as a car audio freak but I did get an amp and changed the head unit. The amount of money I have invested in my home audio is way more than what I spent in my car. Unfortunately playing the same recording just does not justify that amount of money I spent.
Thats what got me all sparked up on searching for an answer which lead me to Michael Greens website. Going through his website made me think differently and made me realize that its not all about your equipments, speakers and cables. To get a good sounding system is not about how expensive or best sounding equipments that have won major awards. Nor how famous a particular brand is that some may swear upon it. But its about tuning and getting whatever system you have to fit in better with your surroundings.

As I started my journey taking Michaels advise I began to see and hear more into those recordings. More information was I able to gather, more involvement and finally more passion towards this hobby. Which ultimately got me thinking seriously into building my own dedicated room. Before this my system was placed in my living room. What never changed was my equipments that I have invested previously but what has tottaly changed was my mind set in this hobby.

Now if i had know this earlier would i have still bought my expensive setup well no. I would have got something more functional and enough to power my speakers and load my room up with music and tune the hell out of it lol!

Why wouldn’t car stereos sound very good? They are battery powered, the speakers have no complex crossovers, there are no real “room acoustics issues,” the car is isolated from seismic vibrations by a pneumatic isolation system (shock absorbers) and the CD player buffers the data.
I'm lucky to be on a budget--after a few thousand dollars, my hands begin to shake, I feel very unhappy, and all music sounds crappy to me.  Therefore, I cannot test whether a $10,000 amp sounds 'better' than my $500 ones.   But (at least back when stereo stores existed), I could compare various components in admittedly flawed tests (as close to 'single-blind' as I could get), either in the store or at home.  Thus I was able to reject things where I could hear no difference (cables, etc.).  Of course psychology plays a large part (as does, alas, progressive hearing loss)--but since I'm doing the listening, it doesn't matter what is objectively better.  If the tube-glow makes the sound 'more warm' to me, fine.  Also, the room environment (high wooden ceilings vs. 8' apartment stucco, speaker placement) makes far more difference than any equipment I can afford.  

That said, I am a firm believer in single/ or double blind studies, which should be used for audio whenever possible.  I don't think you can really test 'good sound' vs. 'bad sound' that way, but you can certainly test (1) whether there are objective sonic differences, and (2) whether those sonic differences are detectable by human ears. 

"We can read about audio and tuning as much as we want and it will not tell us if we will enjoy music on whatever system is being written about. The only way to know is to listen. Why not get a room at one of the audio shows and set up a $1,000 system that blows away all the high-end systems and makes every recording sound good, no, not just good, awe inspiring, to everyone who hears them. That would be doing us all a great service. Writing threads about how the high-end is dead and tunable systems are what we really need, not so much."

Hi Tom

I do a tunable setup every year (since 2005) here in Vegas during the CES. This last CES I had a full Tunable Room and system showing off strip. We were at AXPONA 2017 too, but because the setup time was so short the guys didn’t have a chance to setup the whole package. Some folks might recall "TuneVilla" which was covered by several magazines. Well the "place" (TuneVilla & TuneLand) has been around since 1989 in different locations in the US.

This year I’ve rented space just off the strip that we’re thinking about converting, after I’m done using it for the wood curing, to have a tunable setup on the strip for folks to stop by and have fun. It’s close to Sahara and LVBD, so it’s very close to the convention center. The shows are cool, but the time period really isn’t enough so folks can come in and relax while they explore tuning with me, or on their own. Another cool thing about this location is, is right on the edge of the Vegas Arts District.

So yes, as the OP states it can’t just be Talk, it’s also has to be Walk in order for folks to understand.

thanks for you post

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net


I'm sorry I came late to the party a lot has already been said and discussed but I wanted to say one thing. If one has not listened to a product regardless of what it is perhaps they should not state their opinion regarding it. Lots of debates going on due to the opposite happening here on Audiogon. Ya, I know its America and we have the freedom of free speech...  ;-)

Hi Jdane

Yep, when the audio shops across the US went under it changed the landscape of HEA and the hobby in general. And it happened so fast. Folks on this thread have mentioned the need to experience tuning first hand, and in the mid 1990's we (MGD/RoomTune) were building tunable rooms inside of stores. It looked like things were on track for the industry to have a "method of listening", but then the mom & pops just couldn't hang on to their stores and compete against the internet.

Tuning isn't new to HEA, it just came along when the market place was beginning their transition from live spaces to on-line sells.

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

Hi Tj

Great to see you here!! I know your experiences are going to help folks understand the Tuning process. It's going to be interesting to watch the change happen in our hobby. I'm also getting ready to do more posting on the Method of Tuning thread. Hope you have time to help out. I think it's one thing for me to post (as kind of the father of tuning, if that's fair to say), but when the actual listeners post about tuning the topic becomes real to many folks. Again it's the Talk & Walk issue. With you and others being real time examples, it adds that element of believability, that this hobby so desperately needs, and so many are searching for after a long time of audio spinning and it's spin doctors.

thank you for being here!

Michael Green

www.michaelgreenaudio.net

Why wouldn’t car stereos sound very good? They are battery powered, the speakers have no complex crossovers, there are no real “room acoustics issues,” the car is isolated from seismic vibrations by a pneumatic isolation system (shock absorbers) and the CD player buffers the data.
Ha! For once I can comprehend your post without resort to a secret decoder ring. Too bad it is so utterly false. Cars present horrible acoustic environments due to engine, wind, and road noise. They overcome this huge obstacle primarily with two "weapons"; compressed recordings (compressed by studios and radio stations with cars in mind) and the ability of car speakers to load the cabin of the car such that for all intents and purposes, the speakers are facing into the cabinet rather than outwards and the listener is sitting inside the loudspeaker cabinet. 
fsonicsmith,

Take it from one with much experience. Don’t bother responding to Geoffkait if you want to actually get anywhere. Everything is a joke to him. He is like the pied piper of Audiogon. You will get nowhere with him. He might humor you from time to time if he feels cornered but that’s about it. He is clever like a fox though. He will gladly take your money should you decide to try one of his comical useless products. The ultimate troll! He should write a book.  All talk, no walk.
What’s this, The Revenge of the Nerds Pt. 2? What’s eating Moops, anyone know? Is he still steaming because I called him a pretend engineer? 🚂Toot, toot!
Case closed.   Toot! Toot!