Too good a post to waste


On a thread that is a running example of the textual equivalent of nonstop cat videos. So here it is again.


I could understand the cables are snake-oil doubters and take them seriously- in 1980. Back then there was no internet, Stereo Review was pretty much it, and Julian Hirsch was the Oracle of all things audio. Stereo Review and Julian Hirsch said if it measures the same it sounds the same. Wire is wire, and that was that. 

Even then though J. Gordon Holt had already started the movement that was to become Stereophile. JGH took the opposing view that our listening experience is what counts. Its nice if you can measure it but if you can’t that’s your problem not ours. 

Stereo Review and the measurers owned the market back then. The market gave us amplifier wars, as manufacturers competed for ever more power with ever lower distortion. For years this went on, until one day "measures great sounds bad" became a thing.

Could be some here besides me lived through and remember this. If you did, and if you were reading JGH back then, I tip my hat to you, sir! I fell prey to Hirsch and his siren song that you can have it all for cheap and don’t really have to learn to listen. Talk about snake-oil! A lot of us bought into it. Sorry to say.

But anyway like I was saying it was easy to believe the lie back then because it was so prevalent and also because what wire there was that sounded better didn’t really sound a whole lot better.

Now though even budget wire sounds so much better than what comes off a reel you’d have to be deaf not to notice. Really good wires sound so good you’d notice even if you ARE deaf! No kidding. My aunt Bessie was deaf as a stone but she could FEEL the sound at a high enough volume, knew it was music. The dynamic punch of my CTS cables is so much greater than ordinary 14 ga wire I would bet my deaf from birth aunt Bessie could "hear" the difference. Certain so-called audiophiles here, I'm not so sure.

Oh and not done beating the dead horse quite yet, according to my calendar its 2020, a solid 40 years past 1980. Stereo Review is dead and buried. Stereophile lives on. A whole multi-billion dollar industry built on wire not being wire thrives. Maybe the measurement people can chalk up and quantify from that just how many years, and billions, they are out of date and in denial. 
5c19db42 db1e 4039 96f2 9d2ae7c37947millercarbon

Showing 31 responses by millercarbon

Old ideas are like Bruce Willis- they Die Hard. And the sequels aren't necessarily any better.
TAS started in 1972! The Audio Critic in 1977 along with IAR (International Audio Review). Both were run by Peters (Aczel and Moncrieff, respectively). StereOpus and Bound For Sound (Martin DeWolf) appeared around that time. A bit later was Sensible Sound. Followed by Art Dudley's Listener. And from 1956 (!) John Crabbe's HiFi News & Record Review was the best (and still is) of the British HiFi press. So from the early Seventies there was a variety of publications for English-speaking audiophiles other than Stereo Review and High Fidelity. And Audio (RIP) which straddled the line between the underground press and the mainstream.

Brilliant! Now were you around and reading all those at the time? 
Yes, it is fairly easy to hear differences - if you actually try and hear the differences. That's the problem with people like Hirsch. They put themselves up as authoritative. Some fall for it. I did. Well I was young and a nerd into science and it seemed to make sense that all you needed from wire was that it be thick enough. It didn't help that in 1975 Puyallup, WA there really was nothing to choose from but gauge. 

By the 1990's though this had changed and the first time I compared my old patch cords with entry level Wireworld the improvement was obvious, and I mean immediately. Heard it even before I made it back to the chair.


Mike, you do know he has no system, is no audiophile, and only comes here to mock and troll. You do know that, right?
Sorry but it was either that or Beavis and Butthead chortling, "He said double blind testing. Huh. Huh. Huh." Which would be cool, and more the level of respect it merits. But they never said it. Sigh.
So he doesn't deny it. Interesting.
Just so you guys know, the whole thing of OFC, five nine's purity, connectors, braids, and all that jazz, is nothing more than a variation on wire is wire. The original claim was all that matters is the gauge. Now instead of gauge you're saying its OFC. Connectors. Braid. Or whatever. All you're doing is putting lipstick on a pig. OFC instead of gauge. You can fool yourselves if you want. But it is in fact just lipstick. 
If your audio memory is so short cdorval1 I pity you when your wife calls and you fail to recognize her voice on the phone. Maybe try asking her to talk in small samples see how far you get.
Question for you guys who think double blind is required because you can't remember what you heard: why do you care?

If you can't remember, why on Earth do you care? 

And just how selective is your ever-erasing memory anyway? Do you remember saying you need double-blind? Can you remember what you're typing for the time it takes to type a word? A sentence? A paragraph? Do you remember your name??? Food- can you remember what a hot dog tastes like? Are you able to remember how to drive? What other things in your life do you find impossible to remember for any length of time?
So you at least are able to remember the subject long enough to comment on it. Good. Are you also able to recall what you have heard? Yes or no.
On a serious note, there is a nugget of truth here. Some people simply do not really know what they hear. Its not that they haven’t heard it, but they lack the vocabulary to express what they have heard. Almost always the people talking this evanescent memory line are incapable of saying exactly what they are talking about. I’ve never once heard one of them say they heard two things so close it came down to the micro-dynamics or timbral harmonics or image focus or anything like that. No. Instead its always apparent they have no words whatsoever for what they are talking about. They are plain and simple too lazy to try and learn the vocabulary.

Now it turns out there’s a whole line of psychology devoted to trying to discern which comes first, the thought or the word. How do you even know the thing you’re talking about without knowing the word for it? Not only can you not talk about it, it turns out you cannot even think about it.

This comes up in x-ray school. An x-ray is nothing more than a 2 dimensional gray scale representation of a 3 dimensional object. When you first look at one its hard to make any sense of it at all. Then you learn a whole lot of anatomy, pathology, mega medical terminology, physics, electronics, chemistry (no kidding) and then with all of this knowledge together with a lot of years studying these things, one day you look at the flat image and are surprised to be able to see what’s going on in 3D.

And guess what? No radiologist or MD ever once asked for a double-blind. That would be nuts. That would show only that they really don’t know what they’re doing. Same here.
no one uses terms like micro-dynamics or timbral harmonics w.r.t. a sound reproduction system, probably because "micro-dynamics", isn’t a function of sound reproduction, it is a function of recording and mastering,


I see. So they record it, but we don’t have to reproduce it. Interesting. And for this you consider yourself a professional. No wonder I have so little respect for credentialism.
40 + years, and not one, yup not one that I can find, demonstration by a cable vendor that definitively shows an audible difference, let alone an improvement between good wire (low resistance, reasonably low capacitance/inductance), and their uber-expensive wire.

You do realize you just admitted that in 40 years you have never been able to hear any difference between any cables. Brilliant. I’d never dream of putting anyone down with such a devastating insult as you just did to yourself.
roberttdid:
40 + years, and not one, yup not one that I can find, demonstration by a cable vendor that definitively shows an audible difference, 

That's an awful lot of cable demo's to not be able to hear a difference. I get that you don't comprehend what I'm saying. But surely you can at least try and comprehend what you yourself have said? You're saying you cannot hear a difference. I believe you. I totally, totally believe you.


Strangely enough it turns out that no matter what you are listening to, the music or the equipment, you are in the end listening to it through the equipment. Try as we might, there is no such thing as music that just appears in the room without any equipment. (It only seems that way sometimes, and when yours is as good as mine you will know what I mean.) So either way it does in fact matter how the equipment sounds. Not measures. Sounds.

The subject by the way is neither Stereo Review nor Julian Hirsch. The subject is the mistaken and counterproductive belief that something doesn’t exist until we can measure it. In this particular case its cables are snake oil, the argument for which boils down to, "there can’t be any difference, because we can’t measure any difference." But this same fallacy applies to lots of things.

Stereo Review and Julian Hirsch merely happen to be the two most widely recognized exemplars of this flawed philosophy. That’s why they were used. It has nothing to do with any personal animosity. I grew up with Stereo Review. I loved those same music articles. But on this score they let us down, big time.

Like it or not, in order to enjoy music audiophiles require equipment. Until this changes we will all be a whole lot better served by the Stereophile/JGH approach than SR/JH. That is all.

Its not a swamp, any more than pre-amps or speakers are a swamp. The only difference is the everyone can talk about speakers and amps without mosquitoes, snakes, and crocodiles coming after you. Its not the wire that makes the swamp but the putrid creatures lurking in wait for unsuspecting victims. You go looking for better sound with speakers no problem. You go looking for better sound with wires the swamp creatures come after you.

Starting from ordinary wire everything is a huge step up. There's even bigger steps up from there, but that's where it gets a little more of a challenge. Not because there aren't lots better, but because wire is no different than anything else. You have to pay just as much attention to listener reviews of wire as anything else. Do that and you will be amazed how much better your system can get doing nothing more than upgrading wire.
Once built a $1200 budget system for a friend. While it was burning in I was playing around. Everyone thinks cables are such a small part. Hardly anyone understands the truth- because they have not done this: I put a $1200 interconnect in this $1200 system. It was SHOCKING how good this little budget system was with that interconnect in there! 

I am NOT saying to spend half your budget on one interconnect. What I AM saying is anyone thinks wire is only 5% has a lot to learn.
Psychologists have a term for that: projection. Since you can't hear, or remember, or understand what does what, you project your inadequacy and confusion onto others. Projection. Try not to do that.
What he's saying is he's a lousy listener. What he's saying is the only way he notices any difference is if he's broken a wire. Which he does not consider unusual. So he's also saying spaz, or using really old poorly made crap. Take your pick.
DYODD
Operative phrase being, "Your Own".
Actually no, they sound the same regardless of what they're plugged into.

Either that or the wire somehow magically knows what its plugged into and is able to change accordingly.

Just one more bit of nonsense everyone believes without evidence and keeps repeating simply because someone else did.
Never has one person made so many posts that have so little useful information in them and so rarely contribute to the conversation.

DYODD:
No system.
No degree.
No knowledge.
MachinaDynamica. 
The one person who claims to have met him at a show said he enjoys making fun of audiophiles because.... they love audio.

If you can find one constructive comment in 23k posts, please provide a link. 
Notice he doesn't deny any of it.
No system.
No degree.
No knowledge.
MachinaDynamica.
The one person who claims to have met him at a show said he enjoys making fun of audiophiles because.... they love audio.

If you can find one constructive comment in 23k posts, please provide a link.
And still can't find even one constructive comment in any of his 23k posts.

Interesting.
This may be a difficult concept, but if the wire sounds the same on every system, then you are essentially saying wire doesn't matter.  


The number of logical fallacies in just this one statement is simply amazing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IawIjqOJBU8
Whoever would like to argue about his statements, could you please keep it on the same level of writing skill?
almarg:
Here are some examples of how a sonic comparison between two cables can yield exactly opposite (or at least very different) results depending on the specific application:
The statement is "here are some examples of how a sonic comparison between two cables CAN yield exactly opposite (or at least very different) results"...

"Can" means might, may, could. "Can" does not mean "does".  Thus everything that follows is at best probability and imagination.

This is meant as an argument to refute my argument which is, in a word, "does". You simply cannot refute "does" with might. The refutation of "does" is "does not". 

It is highly ironic that such illogic immediately follows a post on the 10 logical fallacies. It is fully accepted no one has bothered to watch the video- or if they have, to have not learned a single one of its lessons. 

For proof I offer the preceding posts.

There ya go gluppo, and brevity is the soul of wit. Read it and weep.
Funny. Truth is, almarg's position is nonsense. He claims a wire can give  "exactly opposite (or at least very different) results depending on the specific application". Exactly the opposite? Really? Good one. How about "at least very different" then? Well, define "very different". Since no two things are ever exactly the same gosh I guess he's got me. Except in that case, everything different, what has he really said? Nothing. 

Precisely my point.

MC

"Can" means might, may, could. "Can" does not mean "does".  Thus everything that follows is at best probability and imagination.“

While I have no knowledge of whether Almarg is a genius or a shill other than reading the quality of his posts and determining he is closer to the former, I find it fascinating that you are arguing against his comments and yet they allow for yours to be possible as well. He is laying out a thoughtful explanation of the science behind the Subjectiveness; In other words, YMMV.

Yeah, no, not really. Almarg is doing the same thing the directionality people do when they point out there are in fact physical reasons that might explain directionality. Not saying any of almargs statements are wrong. Simply saying his conclusion, "exactly opposite (or at least very different) results depending on the specific application" is erroneous.

Also notice when the same "logic" is used to to show there may be some basis for directionality those reasons are mocked and derided. While almarg is doing the exact same thing only not only does no one notice they actually compliment him on it. People are funny that way.

Not looking to pick a fight, I don’t really care enormously either way about cables, - if you want it and can afford it good to go- but what his point really drives home IMHO  is the inconsistency in your position, that everything matters, and yet a single cable company, or one speaker company, or a contact enhancer company can solve every single need. By your own starting position- everything matters- reinforced my Almargs post- a variety of manufacturers cables would most likely be needed to meet all the variabilities.. I recognize and freely admit  I am an audio dullard, but fully capable of debate.


Okay so first off I have no problem whatsoever stipulating everything almarg said is true and correct. Capacitance, etc can indeed cause things to sound different in different situations. Impedance too. Duh.

What I am trying to do however is point out the inherent weakness and ultimate futility of this point of view. Almarg says wires can yield:

exactly opposite (or at least very different) results depending on the specific application

Now its really funny everyone seems so in love with this. Yet nobody actually acts as if they believe a word of it. Oh they say you do. But I will now prove they do not.

Because if everyone really believed this then no one would be recommending any wire (or anything else) without saying it only works this way with such and such an impedance. Otherwise its "exactly the opposite (or at least very different)." Which no one ever does!

Capacitance would be a standard specification right up there with speaker sensitivity, and frequency response, and amplifier output. Which last I looked, its not. In fact no one hardly ever talks about it, except every once in a while someone enjoys showing off his mastery of technical jargon. And audiophools (who don't even really understand a word of it) fall all over themselves congratulating him on his genius.

Of course no wire ever made is capable of making anything its connected to sound exactly the same. Of course the physics of whatever its connected to does influence the performance. Duh. Congratulations. That's what I been saying: everything really does matter!

Nevertheless we cannot conclude from this that everything works " exactly the opposite (or at least very different)" depending on what its connected to. If this was the case no one would read a review on anything. Why bother? If its going to sound completely different connected to different stuff, why bother? Riddle me that one, bat man.

You all read reviews. Therefore, you really do not believe a word of " exactly the opposite (or at least very different)".

No. In spite of however much electrical measurement jargon is thrown at it the fact remains any given wire (and tube, and transformer, and amp, and speaker, etc, etc on and on, forever) does indeed have its own recognizable sonic character. A character that does not magically transform itself into   "exactly the opposite (or at least very different)" every time its plugged in.  

Neither does it have the power to make everything its plugged into sound exactly the same. How could it? How would one even know??? All we can hear is the resulting combination. So how could the premise even be tested? Its nonsense on stilts. Sophistry.

Go and listen. You will see.
MC

"Can" means might, may, could. "Can" does not mean "does".  Thus everything that follows is at best probability and imagination.“

While I have no knowledge of whether Almarg is a genius or a shill other than reading the quality of his posts and determining he is closer to the former, I find it fascinating that you are arguing against his comments and yet they allow for yours to be possible as well. He is laying out a thoughtful explanation of the science behind the Subjectiveness; In other words, YMMV.

Yeah, no, not really. Almarg is doing the same thing the directionality people do when they point out there are in fact physical reasons that might explain directionality. Not saying any of almargs statements are wrong. Simply saying his conclusion, "exactly opposite (or at least very different) results depending on the specific application" is erroneous.

Also notice when the same "logic" is used to to show there may be some basis for directionality those reasons are mocked and derided. While almarg is doing the exact same thing only not only does no one notice they actually compliment him on it. People are funny that way.

Not looking to pick a fight, I don’t really care enormously either way about cables, - if you want it and can afford it good to go- but what his point really drives home IMHO  is the inconsistency in your position, that everything matters, and yet a single cable company, or one speaker company, or a contact enhancer company can solve every single need. By your own starting position- everything matters- reinforced my Almargs post- a variety of manufacturers cables would most likely be needed to meet all the variabilities.. I recognize and freely admit  I am an audio dullard, but fully capable of debate.


Okay so first off I have no problem whatsoever stipulating everything almarg said is true and correct. Capacitance, etc can indeed cause things to sound different in different situations. Impedance too. Duh.

What I am trying to do however is point out the inherent weakness and ultimate futility of this point of view. Almarg says wires can yield:

exactly opposite (or at least very different) results depending on the specific application

Now its really funny everyone seems so in love with this. Yet nobody actually acts as if they believe a word of it. Oh they say you do. But I will now prove they do not.

Because if everyone really believed this then no one would be recommending any wire (or anything else) without saying it only works this way with such and such an impedance. Otherwise its "exactly the opposite (or at least very different)." Which no one ever does!

Capacitance would be a standard specification right up there with speaker sensitivity, and frequency response, and amplifier output. Which last I looked, its not. In fact no one hardly ever talks about it, except every once in a while someone enjoys showing off his mastery of technical jargon. And audiophools (who don't even really understand a word of it) fall all over themselves congratulating him on his genius.

Of course no wire ever made is capable of making anything its connected to sound exactly the same. Of course the physics of whatever its connected to does influence the performance. Duh. Congratulations. That's what I been saying: everything really does matter!

Nevertheless we cannot conclude from this that everything works " exactly the opposite (or at least very different)" depending on what its connected to. If this was the case no one would read a review on anything. Why bother? If its going to sound completely different connected to different stuff, why bother? Riddle me that one, bat man.

You all read reviews. Therefore, you really do not believe a word of " exactly the opposite (or at least very different)".

No. In spite of however much electrical measurement jargon is thrown at it the fact remains any given wire (and tube, and transformer, and amp, and speaker, etc, etc on and on, forever) does indeed have its own recognizable sonic character. A character that does not magically transform itself into   "exactly the opposite (or at least very different)" every time its plugged in.  

Neither does it have the power to make everything its plugged into sound exactly the same. How could it? How would one even know??? All we can hear is the resulting combination. So how could the premise even be tested? Its nonsense on stilts. Sophistry.

Go and listen. You will see.
The “genius” who lists “stock cables” on his profile Audiogon Systems. That says it all. 

No way.

Yes way! https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/3676

Not only freebie rubber power cords, but lamp cord to the speakers. 

Nothing to do now but apologize. Sorry, almarg. I had no idea. Sorry.


Your starting to seem like someone whose whole life is actually siting by his computer using google to come up with information to try to impress the rest of us.

Ya think? Good to see people finally figuring this out. Why its taken so long I do not know. 

Someone might want to go back and read through my posts. Very early on someone took me to task for what I at first thought was just due to your garden variety scientific illiteracy. Well they do a lousy job teaching these things so I at first thought that's all this is and explained.  

From the response this got it was clear not only is there no understanding of electricity, there is no science either. Not only this, but it seemed what little there was was being used to confuse rather than understand. When you know a subject inside and out its easy to spot the fakers. This was not only a faker, it was malevolent, mean-spirited fakery.  

What I mean is most fakers are posers. This was no poser. The poser is trying to join the in crowd. Like pretending to be a better more experienced and knowledgeable audiophile. But that's not what this was. 

This was trying to make fools of audiophiles. This was having it in for audiophiles. This is up to no good. Like I said, go way back in my posting history and see for yourself.

Yes I got all this from twmy response left him flummoxed. Absolutely pegged, and in record time- two posts! Seriously, go back and read the history. It is there for all to see. Unlike the ones above, and probably this one, the erasers of history haven't gotten round to removing it. 

So anyway like I said this was all apparent to me from reading just two posts. But it seemed so unlikely there could be anyone so deeply malevolent and disturbed I had to be sure. DYODD means Do Your Own Due Diligence. Site search. Web search. Sure enough, no evidence whatsoever of any genuine audiophile background, let alone interstellar starship engineering.  

Its really sad the way he's been able to get away with this for so long. Chalk it up to the inherent good nature of most people, I guess. Anyone thinking there's any there there might want to do what I have done, DYODD, search around, see what you find. Then if you still want to engage, oh well. Price we pay for liberty. Personally, I think everyone, and the site, and frankly the whole field of audio would be much better off if we would all simply say move along, please. Permanent ignore. Move along. Please.
No. But what would be the point? So you could come back later and say "Ahh but x in this study only equalled 1,367. Someone should do a study where everyone is blind, and deaf, and mute (sign language okay, maybe, but we should do two studies just to be sure) their genome is sequenced, and x equals one million three hundred thousand eight hundred and four. Oh and let's repeat it in four countries on three planets."

If you have the ability you can hear. If you can’t no amount of proof or reasons will ever be enough.
jetter-
millercarbon, I am going to tell you how it is. A number of us have been on this site for many years. We have a history together. I have been mostly a silent member until a year or two ago. I am a CPA and do not have a background in electricity and don’t care a bit, although, truth be told, my last position was director of tax for a power utility.

You made a huge mistake when you insulted almarg a few days ago. He is among, if not the most polite and respected members here. There is no coming back from such a blunder in my eyes. So kindly do not use my post in any way to further whatever your agenda is. There is absolutely no common ground between us.

Okay jetter (or is it Sire?) but me being the new kid and you being the big CPA tax director and all, why don’t you help me out. Put together a spreadsheet for me. You can list all the registered users ranked according to importance so I will know. Because being ignorant of accounting rules I was under the impression people came here to post and share and debate ideas. Was mostly oblivious to the whole kiddy playground in group aspect. (Although got to say, first in-group I ever heard of with lurkers who don’t participate for years then feel entitled to lecture, but oh well learn something new every day!)

One thing I don’t quite get though. You said nothing when in your eyes I insulted almarg. Did not for the record insult him at all. He presented his position and reasons, I presented mine. Not the same but as others correctly noted there is room for both as both have their merits. Almarg certainly made his case well. Better than you make yours, that’s for sure.

But I digress. It was one thing when you thought I was insulting almarg. But now you can no longer remain silent. Now you are all up in arms. Over.... geoffkait.

There is no coming back from such a blunder in my eyes.