Tin Foil Hat Audio


As I read the discussions about questionable tweaks I often have to remind myself that just because I can’t hear it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just because there is no instrument capable of objectively quantifying a difference doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just because there is no generally accepted physical mechanism to account for a difference doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 

I think I owe an apology to psychics, mediums, and witches among others. Maybe they also perceive things I just can’t. 

Is it shiny side in or out when making a tin foil hat? How many layers? 
cat_doorman
just because something can't be measured doesn't mean it doesn't exist...
Yes, what you say rings a bell for many I think, but until one has really acquired acute hearing skills it woulds be premature to judge and, FWIW, a lot of folks in these forums just haven't arrived at that level of expertise. Caveat emptor for sure, and don't fail to exercise your common sense, but don't be too closed minded lest you look like a fool.
I'm more and more convinced that what we need around here is a good thread on placebos. I doubt there is any tweak out there that hasn't been credited with creating placebo effect. If I take a placebo and it cures my pain, do I care that it's a placebo? If I replace my amp's fuses and hear a blacker background, who says I'm nuts, or a sucker?  Probably find out when I report it here and feel the heat from the deniers.

I'm having too much fun with my placebos to quit now!
On a side note:
I always find it interesting how some listeners swear on needing a break-in period on many components for the better sound to be revealed to them. That may be true, but more importantly to me is how my ears actually need time to adjust to a new component. Pretty much every time I change something, my observation of the sound will be different from the time of purchase to two months down the road whether a component needs break-in or not. I personally think my ears adjusting to a new sound has more to do than the break-in period. Just me.
Completely agree with this:
I'm having too much fun with my placebos to quit now!
Placebo effect is a real, documented thing of course, but if it works, it works.  If a doctor prescribed me a medication and said something to the effect of, "now, this medication works at solving your problem for 99% of the population, but we absolutely know that's due purely to the placebo effect of just taking something", it's not like I would reply, "no, doctor, I can't take it because I object to placebo effects on principle."  I'd be taking it in a heartbeat!  (Those of you in the medical field may actually know of some extremely commonly prescribed medications that according to meta-analyses achieve no better results than placebo...)

On the other hand, if a person is not responsive to placebos, they should not be derided as people who can't hear, or people who only care about measurements, or people who only judge by price, etc.

We should all remember that our tastes, hearing, brains, budgets, rooms and gear are all different; and what works for us will not necessarily work for someone else and vice versa.  
On the other hand, if a person is not responsive to placebos, they should not be derided as people who can't hear, or people who only care about measurements, or people who only judge by price, etc.
I agree with this as well.  I think it’s best to avoid telling people what they ought to be hearing, whether it’s on the basis of past experience, observation, hearsay or measurements.  I can only report what *I* hear.  I am a case study of one, and make no claims to generalizability!
  I remember from years past reading an article written by a reviewer who, by some chance had small group of musicians over at his place. They were from Jamaica, and he figured that they might be impressed at how good his system would reproduce their music. Once he started playing the music, they just got up and started dancing. I always wondered whether it mattered so much about the system, at least to them. A different appreciation/perception.
To my, from what I’ve seen it’s more often that people who hear differences get derided, and if someone does say what you mentioned, it’s a response back to those ones deriding them, in order to throw their own medicine back in their face. I’ve often found the ones driving those who hear as too obtuse for that method to have any effect on them. Any one deriding what the other hears or dosnt hear is just a hater. Someone who can’t stand anyone to be on the other side of their views. Maybe they feel like they’re being called liars and take it personally when someone mentions they like x cable, or when they say they don’t feel the need to spend on cables as they don’t feel they make a difference. It’s easy to spot the different types, one kind talks about snake oil, advertisements that speak in toungues ( though I admit some advertising does get a bit thick with their own made up descriptions of their products) and many times measurements are brought up and translated to reach many different conclusions.
Ah, yes, statistics. Aren't they great for driving home ones point of view? Even with the best of intent, the stats aren't being presented in a way that actually spots the good or bad. Even during these times with 'the virus', I read opinions, stats, and the rest with a good deal of; what's your source? Does this apply to me? How new or old is your data? Compared to what? 
I think we give too much credence to naysayers. It's been my experience they're not really that credible. 
Also don’t forget that just because something is there does not mean it is better, just different. 
nonoise6,116 posts08-08-2020 2:59pmI think we give too much credence to naysayers. It's been my experience they're not really that credible.

You hit the nail right on the head. Why do I find myself looking for what's wrong, other than what's right... It's the ol half empty, half full, thing. When maybe, it's just a glass, with water in it.

Chest out, chin up..... onward!!!!

Regards
I find that when I make a change in my system after about 2-3 weeks I am either turning on the stereo more or less (sure life happens and things get in the way-but in general).  Sound is personal, like visual attraction there is no right or wrong-it’s in the eye or ear of the beholder.  You want to measure and prove and debate and try to convince me? Sure I’ll  go down that path and drop a few bucks occasionally but what you find is that it’s personal.  I’ve bought some gear on the advice and loved it and some I’ve been embarrassed to re-sell.  If you don’t like it some will claim you need a different cable or more break in time or shake a magic chicken leg at it. NO I just don’t like it and think it sucks for me.  If 10 people think it’s the best and you don’t enjoy the music as much than it’s wrong for you in your system, etc.  That’s why there are so many categories of porn, so many handbags, boats, shirts, cars and strains of weed, etc.  Same with audio.  When someone says they’ve got it all figured out for everyone they’ve just entered the next phase of delusion.  For me it also has to remain fun to stay around as a hobby.  Don’t get discouraged.
Gentlemen,
No one is addressing the OP's  question.
It's shiny side out, four layers for heavy duty foil, seven layers for the regular strength.
I prefer the no stick foil because if any spells or bad juju manages to penetrate the layers, they have a tendency to simply slide off before they can penetrate your brain. It's also fun to shape it like a little ship...
There is something more powerful than the placebo effect. How much did you pay for that tin foil? Or what brand of tin foil did you buy? By the way, what a delightful thread with such measured, or should I say unmeasured responses. 
I put shiny side in for middle course of rib cooking.
Maybe it's just superstition.
Shiny side in or out is a matter of taste. Personally I prefer two-tone with the top of the brim shiny side out and the rest shiny side in. As usual it falls to me to explain the most important factor in tinfoil hats, the pre-crinkling. Scientific studies prove pre-crinkling the foil before shaping reduces tearing, improves shaping, and provides increased durability.  

Also too many take the simplistic approach with just one layer. The best tinfoil hats are three layer laminate with the middle being a Faraday cage. 
Is there a laboratory instrument that can measure emotional response?
I don't know why I generally am more engaged when listening to vinyl over digital formats... I can't hear an audible difference.
3 layers, shiny side out.
Technically these days, it's an aluminum foil hat.
Just doesn't have the same flow, though.
Zm, the placebo effect is usually around 50%. Some of It is coincidental.
About 80% of everything I see in the office on a daily basis is going to get better whether I do anything or not. 

I do believe expectation bias is real.  As far as wizardry is concerned, every time I have made a solid improvement in my system there was a darn good reason why.  Some of the reasons perpetrated by marketing are laughable.

What I object to is companies that intentionally play on our gullibility to make money.  This is unfortunately very common. 


This doesn’t strike me as a very gullible group. 
Mijostyn, I think of placebo and subject-expectancy effect as essentially the same thing, or at least closely related, but that may have not been the main thrust of your point and I agree with you about expectancy bias.

The only thing I would add about your observation that some placebo effect is coincidence and that most issues would self-resolve with conservative (or no) treatment is that simply coming into the office at all is probably enough to trigger the effect for some people.  

I would like to think of myself as not very gullible, and if companies want to play to my expectation bias with overhyped marketing, well, that doesn’t particularly bother me.  Hell, it may even work, in which case they make money and I am stupidly happy for no empirically valid reason, which strikes me as not a bad outcome for either party.



I find two layers of foil,with one thin coat of JB weld to work best. I am not at liberty to disclose the orientation of foil,or thickness of JB weld. 
If the tweak doesn’t cost a fortune and doesn’t damage any equipment, who cares? Have fun and no need to write essays on it
I agree with needlebrush. If you try something,and to your ears it works,kool and the gang! 
Is there a laboratory instrument that can measure emotional response?
fMRI
We need to sort out the difference between:

REAL Snake Oil (chinese laborers building the railroad used real snake oil to relieve soreness)

HUCKSTER Snake Oil (you can sell urine as Snake Oil to some).

It turns out that there really is a “Barnum Effect” according to psychologists. “There’s a sucker born every minute” (which refers to gullibility and isn’t exactly his quote either), however, wasn’t what I had in mind when I went searching for another famous line often attributed to the circus magnate, P.T. Barnum. Lots of folks, me included, often confuse Barnum as the one who exclaimed, “you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time!” Historians are just as likely to attribute that statement to Abraham Lincoln. Apparently neither one wrote it in their memoirs.
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Then we need to sort out Placebo, Self-Delusion, Beneficial Delusion, Need to Trust ’Experts’ ....
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Measurements and/or Double Blind Tests, Pre-disposed Expectations or Lack of, Group Confirmation ...
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I try to be aware of these factors, i.e. Speaker Wire, small diameter, individually insulated strands: I admit, a big part of it is I CHOSE to believe .... I never said I could hear the difference between zip cord, I’m just happy I found something to believe in that didn’t cost too much.

i.e. My new cartridge, better specs re: channel balance and separation. OK, on paper, but who says I will hear a difference? I doubted it could best my Shure. I’ve been listening to the same variety of test tracks for many many years. It definitely beats the Shure, and the differences are the more rock solid Phantom Center from tighter channel balance and imaging, individual player's distinction, from the greater channel separation. 

I KNOW this!!!

This is separate from Stylus shape, or shaft material, and I wonder, as the suspension ages, will these change?





Equality is a wonderful quality.  As far as I know it is strictly a math concept.  Therefore, there can be no equality outside of math, read that as "everything makes a difference". So, to be redundant, anything I change in my system makes a difference.  This has been readily apparent to me even as a teenager building crazy multi-speaker systems much to my parents chagrin (it was the 60's).

There is much snake-oil out there.  Your job is to figure out where your particular "sweet spot" is. Cables that are priced at $65K strikes me as well over-the-top.  But, I couldn't care less that someone has a system that shows its not insane to purchase them.  I don't have that system, not sure where I would end up if I had unlimited dollars at my disposal. 

As an aside, I feel some empathy for persons who are constantly evaluating their listening skills as it relates to their system.  Seemingly listening for the "weakness".  Been there, done that, past it.  Now its all about the music to me.  

What a great hobby.

Regards, Barts.  President, Department of Redundancy Department.

I want to believe.

Whether you or the rest of your system is the limiting factor, you can only feel what you feel. If you can’t hear the difference between zip cord and nano-fractal unobtainium cables then of course you should save your money or spend it on something else.

Maybe it’s like color vision. Most of us have a standard complement of RGB cones and don’t understand what it’s like to be colorblind. We also don’t understand what tetrachromats can see because of an additional cone - more detail and nuance. My assumption is that some tweaks or refinements in audio are just not discernible by me. 

But once you’ve crossed that threshold into a new level of perception or experience it’s hard to go back. Might be like a junkie searching for that first high again. I suppose it can be similarly mind altering. I can forgive the zeal of the converted for strenuously advocating whatever tweak has brought them such joy even if at times it seems they try too hard. If you find “The Answer” then isn’t there a certain moral imperative to share that information as widely as possible? I think it’s usually the cost of entry that gives me pause. What if I can’t hear the improvement? What if I can’t afford to hear the improvement? Because once I hear it, I’m going to want it even if it’s well beyond my own limit of diminishing returns. That’s sort of how my last few upgrades have gone:

  1. I spent slightly more than I should have. 
  2. I heard minor but distinct improvement.
  3. I can’t go back, even if the improvement isn’t obvious without direct A/B comparison, but I’m also no longer eager for further upgrades to that component.

And if wearing a tin foil hat made your system sound better, we’d all be wearing them. 


These discussions about placebos or snake oil has some limitations of their own in audio experience...To say the least....

First all my methods of controls for the 3 embeddings of my system (mechanical,electrical, and acoustical) are my creation with homemade low cost materials...

Where is the snake oil?

And the placebo or bias explanation dont go all along my road.... No one can explain with that 2 years of listening experiments with various device controls in the same increasing S.Q. direction for the last 2 years...Resulting in a TOTAL transformation of the S.Q. on another level....We dont speak about some new details in sound here, but at the end of my road a complete new S.Q.

It is no more placebos, it is total hallucination, OR by Occam Razor, the most simple explanation:

All audio system are created with a generic design that will be installed in some very particular dimensions pertaining to each different house and which then will need to be rightfully embed in this 3 dimensions...

Plain simple to understand, except by those who dont want to understand anything by reason of omniscience or lazyness....Very easy to verify if someone want to....

Then instead  of hanging on with always the same 2 concepts till the end of times(placebo and snake oil) and instead of being obsessed by others pretenses and experience, be creative and try yourself your own device creations.... If i can anybody can....

Audiophile experience to a very high level can cost peanuts, the rest is myth or marketing....

My best....
     When I booted a schizophrenic roommate, his tinfoil hat was about three inches thick on the sides, and four or more inches on top, which explained why I could never find any aluminum foil, no matter how much I bought.
     He also paid several hundred dollars to line the exteruior walls of his room with a special impregnated plastic looking whatever, at head level, to keep the CIA from controlling his thoughts.
     I suggest you use directional fuses on your hat, and ground it to a water pipe.
Not to be pedantic, but "tin foil" has not existed for perhaps 80 years. Today, we use the much more progressive "aluminum foil hat". Shiny side in always.
danvignau,
I too had a schizophrenic roommate who oddly enough, thought I was the crazy one.

But the joke was on him, because I didn't have a roommate!