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  #41  
Old 05-07-2012, 10:35 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
I think I have been fairly good natured about it, considering the OP didn't take the time to respond, and a moderator came in to try to intimidate me.

First, you have been not been honest with everyone, nor have you been open minded or good natured. That counts a lot. If we can't trust you, we won't cut you slack when you bend the rules.

Second, the OP is Enigmatic, and he has been very diligent in replying to your (often abusive) replies. If you're unhappy with his efforts, you have only yourself to blame.

Third, no one has tried to intimidate you, but we have tried to educate you. If you found this intimidating, then you are free to leave. You are not free to make false statements about what they have done to try and help you, nor to try to anger those who would educate you with petty insults. Consider this your warning. Stick to technical arguments, and be respectful or this discussion is over.
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  #42  
Old 05-07-2012, 10:46 PM
mutescream mutescream is offline
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Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Yes actually. This is simply a fabrication:

And quite a few other statements. You have some corrections to make in you previous posts as you have made some really unfair statements about other people. The correct thing to do is retract them. The not correct but acceptable thing to do is to stop talking about it. Pick one that suits your character.
What specifically do you think are fabrications?

Quote:
Ugh this level of dishonesty on your part is ridiculous. You made a mistake, either own up or shut up. Don't bullshit the rest of us. We have better things to do then this.
You are confusing the issue here. I have (and from the beginning) been discussing speaker wire, and never brought up interconnects. I was (and have been consistently) disputing that 16ga wire is the end all be all of speaker wire, in all situations.

Saying that I have stipulated otherwise, is either dishonest on your part or means that you somewhere along the way became confused on what we were discussing.

Quote:
Aren't you mixing this up? I thought you were talking about capacitance, but the 5% rule assumes zero capacitance. That said, I agree completely, capacitance is negligible in this situation. But are you sure thats what you mean?
I dropped that, and went with the 5% rule out of simplicity, since the wire lengths necessary to make capacitance and inductance relevant were a bit in the stratosphere.

Quote:
Actually, no they cannot be. I'll try this intuitively:

Basically, an ideal amp should do this:

out(t) = in(t)*gain

But all real amps actually do this:

out(t) = [in(t)^n]*gain for n != 1

(technically this isn't exactly true since the function will be much uglier, but if you're mathematically inclined just picture a Taylor series expansion and the math will work just as well as what I am assuming)

This is a problem since the nonlinear term (the power of n) will result in a redistribution of energy across frequencies. Basically, if you put a pure tone in, you will get several (impure) tones out.

For a concrete (if trivial example), think cos(2000*2pi*t) for n =2. Freed that through and you'll get cos(2000*2pi*t)^2 = 0.5*[1+ cos(4000*2pi*t)]. Basically, you'll lose the original frequency entirely, and get a new one back. Obviously no EQ can fix that!

But what can an EQ do?

Now with EQ, what you do is assume that n==1, and then do something like this:

out= [in(t) X EQ_impulse]*gain where 'X' is a convolution operation.

Which will work fine in that case since n==1. But for n != 1, then:

out= [[in(t) X EQ_impulse]^n]*gain where n != 1.

Now this is a huge problem, since there is nothing you can convolve in(t) with that will cancel the power of n outside the convolution. (if you aren't sure why, just think of convolution as a special type of multiplication, then the result is the same, you can't multiply a linear function to cancel out a parabolic function for instance)

So thats really the core problem here: EQ is just a scaling of the linear term of an equation. It cannot help you with the nonlinear part (the terms generated when exponent is much different then 1). So while you can try and 'fix' things by picking an EQ impulse function that will give you a good sound, you'll actually be unable to correct for the nonlinear part, and in fact if its non-negligible you'll probably make the amp even less accurate. This is why doing a test with an EQ is valid: it helps reveal fundamental limitations in the amplifier.

And its really this nonlinear term is the fundamental limitation that we care about. When you talk about the capacity or load of an amp, you're really talking about the magnitude of that nonlinear term when presented a given load. If its small, we say that the amp isn't overloaded. If its large, we say that the amp is probably overloaded.

So, does that make sense to you?
Yes. But, let me ask this... If you alter the fundamental signal prior to it being amplified, why wouldn't it then alter the harmonics in the amplified signal? Or perhaps I read something wrong in there... But, we are dealing with human perception here, not bench test equipment.

If you EQ out the fundamental signal enough that it lowers that portion of the frequency spectrum, it will probably be less accurate technically (I agree)... but, the real question is going to be if that is actually heard/perceived by a listener. This test measured the ability of people to perceive differences, not the ability of the amplifiers to have fidelity into the realms of minutiae.

Last edited by mutescream; 05-07-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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  #43  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:04 PM
mutescream mutescream is offline
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NM on the EQ v. harmonics argument... I just re-checked the test requirements again...

"The amplifiers in the test must be operated within their linear power capacity. Power capacity is defined as clipping or 2% THD 20Hz to 10kHz, whichever is less. This means that if one amplifier has more power (Watts) than the other, the amplifiers will be judged within the power range of the least powerful amplifier ."

Both illustrating that I was correct on the limitations being based on the "weakest link" in the test, and I had somehow overlooked that he had set it up to limit it to keep the THD down reasonably to the point where it wouldn't require a ton of equalization to correct the signal (and overly color it).
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  #44  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:11 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
What specifically do you think are fabrications?
These:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
The wire test states that no one can tell the difference between "fancy" speaker wire and 16gau ripcord.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
I was attacking that the test in question indicated that 16/18gau wire was suitable for all applications.
In each you say something that is not true in order to invent a claim that is not present in the work. That is, you fabricated something and then wrongly attribute it to someone else, when really it is yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
Yes. But, let me ask this... If you alter the fundamental signal prior to it being amplified, why wouldn't it then alter the harmonics in the amplified signal?
Yes of course it alters the signal. That is the point, that is what distortion does. Its takes your nice input frequencies and blends them all over the place. So your EQ is corrupted along with the input. Essentially everything gets blurred out, which is why you can't fix it afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
If you EQ out the fundamental signal enough that it lowers that portion of the frequency spectrum, it will probably be less accurate technically (I agree)...
To be clear, the "fundamental signal" is actual music (at least in the test linked here). So to "EQ out" that, you unplug the cable and turn off the amp. Effective at stopping the distortion I agree, but probably not what you want to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
but, the real question is going to be if that is actually heard/perceived by a listener.
Which is precisely what the test measured! Now I think you're starting to understand why applying the EQ made sense, it isolates the actual problems by eliminating confounding variables.
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  #45  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:14 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
I had somehow overlooked that he had set it up to limit it to keep the THD down reasonably to the point where it wouldn't require a ton of equalization to correct the signal (and overly color it).
Once again, it is impossible to correct for THD with equalization!

And FWIW, that is a fairly high threshold. The usual rule of thumb is that you want <1% THD to ensure that no distortion is audible. I would expect that if any amps in the test were close to that, a trained listener would notice it. Most likely given the null results, most were actually well below that threshold.
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  #46  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:27 PM
mutescream mutescream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
These:
The former is precisely what the article stated was the purpose of the test in the first place. I most certainly will not apologize for that. The latter is inferred by the combination of asserting that listeners in abx tests cannot tell the difference between 16ga ripcord and fancy wires, without any caveats of applicability.

Quote:
In each you say something that is not true in order to invent a claim that is not present in the work. That is, you fabricated something and then wrongly attribute it to someone else, when really it is yours.
Ah, so you think I am engaging in a straw man argument. What did you think the test was about, and where do you find within the article that they admit that their 16g ripcord is not equally suitable for all speaker wire applications?

Quote:
Yes of course it alters the signal. That is the point, that is what distortion does. Its takes your nice input frequencies and blends them all over the place. So your EQ is corrupted along with the input. Essentially everything gets blurred out, which is why you can't fix it afterwards.
Ok, I see where you are going. This is also a moot point now, See post immediately above the one I am replying to.

Quote:
Which is precisely what the test measured! Now I think you're starting to understand why applying the EQ made sense, it isolates the actual problems by eliminating confounding variables.
Actually, I simply realized it is less relevant... Based on his performance requirements parameters used for the test. I still don't believe that his test actually proved anything valuable in the end, based on his limitations.

If you insist on high linearity, have strict THD requirements and limit amplifiers to non clipping range, it's pretty retarded to think there will be situations of amplifier topologies coloring the music in unique ways to begin with... Any coloration will translate into THD.
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  #47  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:40 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
Ah, so you think I am engaging in a straw man argument. What did you think the test was about, and where do you find within the article that they admit that their 16g ripcord is not equally suitable for all speaker wire applications?
Where do you see them claim it is equally suitable? If the answer is "no where" then yes, its a strawman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
If you insist on high linearity, have strict THD requirements and limit amplifiers to non clipping range, it's pretty retarded to think there will be situations of amplifier topologies coloring the music in unique ways to begin with

DEAR GOD HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN SAYING FOR 3 PAGES THE HEAVENS PART AND HELL FREEZES OVER AND ALL THE BEATEN DEAD HORSES ARE RISEN
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  #48  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:40 PM
mutescream mutescream is offline
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Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Once again, it is impossible to correct for THD with equalization!

And FWIW, that is a fairly high threshold. The usual rule of thumb is that you want <1% THD to ensure that no distortion is audible. I would expect that if any amps in the test were close to that, a trained listener would notice it. Most likely given the null results, most were actually well below that threshold.
I just read something on this...
Axiom's tests of a wide range of male and female listeners of various ages with normal hearing showed that low-frequency distortion from a subwoofer or wide-range speaker with music signals is undetectable until it reaches gross levels approaching or exceeding the music playback levels. Only in the midrange does our hearing threshold for distortion detection become more acute. For detecting distortion at levels of less than 10%, the test frequencies had to be greater than 500 Hz. At 40 Hz, listeners accepted 100% distortion before they complained. The noise test tones had to reach 8,000 Hz and above before 1% distortion became audible, such is the masking effect of music. Anecdotal reports of listeners' ability to hear low frequency distortion with music programming are unsupported by the Axiom tests, at least until the distortion meets or exceeds the actual music playback level. These results indicate that the “where” of distortion—at what frequency it occurs—is at least as important as the “how much” or overall level of distortion. For the designer, this presents an interesting paradox to beware of: Audible distortion may increase if distortion is lowered at the price of raising its occurrence frequency.
http://www.axiomaudio.com/distortion.html
I would be pretty impressed with a tube amp that produced <2% THD... Although, it would probably not be as enjoyable to listen to as one with a bit more (that did actually color the sound in interesting ways to make it a bit warmer).
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  #49  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:50 PM
mutescream mutescream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Where do you see them claim it is equally suitable? If the answer is "no where" then yes, its a strawman.
They said that 16g wire is just as good as fancy speaker wire. Thew whole point of the abx testing was to prove that. They provided no limitation of applicability in the realm of speaker wire. Present something that contradicts this.

Quote:
DEAR GOD HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN SAYING FOR 3 PAGES THE HEAVENS PART AND HELL FREEZES OVER AND ALL THE BEATEN DEAD HORSES ARE RISEN
Are you willing to agree that the test simply compares that amps within their respective realms of good linearity behave the same? If that is the case, then it most definitely does not establish that "fancy amps" are equal in ability to perform (due to differing capabilities) in comparison to "ordinary amplifiers". That is a far bolder claim.

His claim of 'Expensive amplifiers sound better than ordinary amplifiers debunked." goes well beyond the scope of what was actually tested.
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  #50  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:51 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
I just read something on this...
Axiom's tests of a wide range of male and female listeners of various ages with normal hearing showed that low-frequency distortion from a subwoofer or wide-range speaker with music signals is undetectable until it reaches gross levels approaching or exceeding the music playback levels. Only in the midrange does our hearing threshold for distortion detection become more acute. For detecting distortion at levels of less than 10%, the test frequencies had to be greater than 500 Hz. At 40 Hz, listeners accepted 100% distortion before they complained. The noise test tones had to reach 8,000 Hz and above before 1% distortion became audible, such is the masking effect of music. Anecdotal reports of listeners' ability to hear low frequency distortion with music programming are unsupported by the Axiom tests, at least until the distortion meets or exceeds the actual music playback level. These results indicate that the “where” of distortion—at what frequency it occurs—is at least as important as the “how much” or overall level of distortion. For the designer, this presents an interesting paradox to beware of: Audible distortion may increase if distortion is lowered at the price of raising its occurrence frequency.
http://www.axiomaudio.com/distortion.html
To be clear, that is not harmonic distortion being tested there, but rather a noise tone. They're basically testing masking thresholds (which is very important for things like MP3 encoding) but not directly related to THD.
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  #51  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:59 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
They said that 16g wire is just as good as fancy speaker wire. Thew whole point of the abx testing was to prove that. They provided no limitation of applicability in the realm of speaker wire. Present something that contradicts this.
So yeah they said those things (or maybe they didn't I don't know if you're being honest here but whatever), but not the thing you claimed. Hence its a strawman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
His claim of 'Expensive amplifiers sound better than ordinary amplifiers debunked." goes well beyond the scope of what was actually tested.
No actually it is pretty well supported since no expensive amplifier actually sounded better.

This is definitely false though, which is probably what you're thinking: 'Cheap amplifiers can't sound worse then expensive amplifiers'. Its a different statement then what Enigmatic made though.
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  #52  
Old 05-08-2012, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
No actually it is pretty well supported since no expensive amplifier actually sounded better.

This is definitely false though, which is probably what you're thinking: 'Cheap amplifiers can't sound worse then expensive amplifiers'. Its a different statement then what Enigmatic made though.
What I'm getting at is that they limited any two amplifiers compared to the parameters of the weakest link. They both performed equally as well as each other, when confined to the parameters of the amplifier with the lesser capabilities (power handling, clipping, and threshold before THD levels became too great, etc).

The test did not allow amps to reach the points where one amplifier could out perform the other.... I'm also guessing they didn't allow situations where one amplifier could drive a load more comfortably than another.

I'm not even using price point as a metric here. I'm pointing out that amplifiers are not as interchangeable as the test would imply.

It all depends on what you mean is fancy or exotic. I would personally view an amp that can handle a 2 ohm load comfortably as pretty exotic. Not all amplifiers (even fancy ones) can comfortably drive a 4 ohm load at higher output comfortably.

The test did not allow for differing applications... So, it did not show that a lower price point amp amp performed equally well to a fancy one. If you presented a situation where the amplifier couldn't participate on an equal level, it was disqualified... So, the test is specifically designed to confirm only that amplifiers within situations that they can be compared on equal footing.

It completely disregarded situations where amps just couldn't stand up and perform at all.
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  #53  
Old 05-08-2012, 12:39 AM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
They both performed equally as well as each other, when confined to the parameters of the amplifier with the lesser capabilities (power handling, clipping, and threshold before THD levels became too great, etc).
Yes of course, that is the point of the test. That is the whole idea being proven: that given reasonable THD, a properly sized load, and proper equalization, expensive amplifiers do not sound better.

This should be obvious to everyone (as I think it is to you), but it is not. There are more then a few people who would claim that magic or whatever makes even amplifiers with identical distortion, frequency response, etc sound different.

If your point is that its stupid to think otherwise, then hello and welcome to this thread!

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Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
The test did not allow amps to reach the points where one amplifier could out perform the other.... I'm also guessing they didn't allow situations where one amplifier could drive a load more comfortably than another.
Yes, but lets be even more precise about this. There are two points where one amp could out perform another: high voltage or high current. Voltage is just volume, so really by saying volumed matched we throw out that possibility. What it comes down to is current: how low of an impedance speaker can each amp drive. By saying both are speced to drive a given load (say 6 ohms), we throw that possibility out.

So what your'e left with is the possibility that an amp made for an 8 ohm load might struggle with a 4 ohm load. And that is true! But is that very interesting? Probably not. If you have some weird load, you need a more expensive amp. Obvious I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
I'm not even using price point as a metric here. I'm pointing out that amplifiers are not as interchangeable as the test would imply.
That is the thing, it doesn't imply at all that they're interchangeable. It implies that expensive amps do not sound better when driving a load that is within spec for both devices. So you can take your $5,0000 2 ohm amp and your $50,000 2 ohm amp and be reasonably sure both are pretty likely to be similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
If you presented a situation where the amplifier couldn't participate on an equal level, it was disqualified... So, the test is specifically designed to confirm only that amplifiers within situations that they can be compared are evaluated.
Yes precisely. And of course you would say thats obvious. But believe it or not legions of people disagree with that. Check google, you can find lots of people who think those results are nonsense.

Besides, if you want to determine how well an amp drives a load, there are better ways to measure then ABX testing. Just get a resistor and a scope and measure the distortion directly. When it shoots up, you know the amp is done.
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  #54  
Old 05-08-2012, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Yes of course, that is the point of the test. That is the whole idea being proven: that given reasonable THD, a properly sized load, and proper equalization, expensive amplifiers do not sound better.

This should be obvious to everyone (as I think it is to you), but it is not. There are more then a few people who would claim that magic or whatever makes even amplifiers with identical distortion, frequency response, etc sound different.

If your point is that its stupid to think otherwise, then hello and welcome to this thread!
I'm not disputing that. I am not one to believe that amplifiers infused with pixie dust and unicorn farts will do magical things. But, I'm not an egalitarian, either. All things are not equal.

Quote:
Yes, but lets be even more precise about this. There are two points where one amp could out perform another: high voltage or high current. Voltage is just volume, so really by saying volumed matched we throw out that possibility. What it comes down to is current: how low of an impedance speaker can each amp drive. By saying both are speced to drive a given load (say 6 ohms), we throw that possibility out.
That depends. Higher voltage could be required for inefficient speakers to sound good (some of which can sound really good). But, if you limit the ability of the amplifier that could drive them better, you are not allowing it to do its job, either. That principle is what largely drives the external headphone amplifier market (in addition to some external headphone amps having better impedance matching).

Conversely, by limiting them to the lowest common impedance matching, we don't allow an amplifier to outshine its contemporary, either. It's like saying a Yugo is equal to a Porsche, as long as you don't drive the Porsche faster than the Yugo, or take turns tighter than the Yugo can make.

Quote:
So what your'e left with is the possibility that an amp made for an 8 ohm load might struggle with a 4 ohm load. And that is true! But is that very interesting? Probably not. If you have some weird load, you need a more expensive amp. Obvious I think.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner! So, there is an instance where a more expensive amp is more suitable (and obviously sounds better) than a less expensive amp.

Quote:
That is the thing, it doesn't imply at all that they're interchangeable. It implies that expensive amps do not sound better when driving a load that is within spec for both devices. So you can take your $5,0000 2 ohm amp and your $50,000 2 ohm amp and be reasonably sure both are pretty likely to be similar.
And neither of them are really "ordinary amps". One is obviously much more expensive than the other, though.


Is it really very interesting to hobble the better performing of two competing items to show they are equal? "Look, we both run 10mph just as well as each other," in nowhere near as exciting as "Look I can run 25mph and you can only run 10mph"... Note that the "I" and "you" here are completely arbitrary, and I have no idea which of us can run faster.

It's kind of ludicrous to compare things, and not compare them at their full capacities.

Quote:
Yes precisely. And of course you would say thats obvious. But believe it or not legions of people disagree with that. Check google, you can find lots of people who think those results are nonsense.
I think the test itself was nonsense, and didn't test for anything useful (aside from illustrating there are a lot of gullible idiots in the world).

Quote:
Besides, if you want to determine how well an amp drives a load, there are better ways to measure then ABX testing. Just get a resistor and a scope and measure the distortion directly. When it shoots up, you know the amp is done.
lol

My point was mainly that not all amps are equal... When you allow them to perform at their full capacity (even if you limit them to their own individual capacity to be linear).
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  #55  
Old 05-08-2012, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
My point was mainly that not all amps are equal... When you allow them to perform at their full capacity (even if you limit them to their own individual capacity to be linear).
Nowhere in the Clark link does it say that all amplifiers are equal. No one in this thread said that all amplifiers are equal. What is the point of ABXing an amplifier that is on against an amplifier that is off?
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  #56  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
Nowhere in the Clark link does it say that all amplifiers are equal. No one in this thread said that all amplifiers are equal. What is the point of ABXing an amplifier that is on against an amplifier that is off?
Then how can you make the claim that 'Expensive amplifiers sound better than ordinary amplifiers debunked," if the ordinary amplifiers are not expected to function under the same conditions as the fancy amplifiers are capable of?

I'll give you that the fancy amplifiers are not capable of doing what the ordinary amplifiers do any better (with all options/features turned off, in an "all things equal" environment), but the ordinary amplifiers were never tested on the basis of if they can deliver what the fancy amplifiers are capable of. Which is why I am criticizing the way you have applied the results of the test.

That test was done to see if fancy amplifiers had some unique properties installed by elves in the wee hours of the night, and if their magic formulas involving pixie dust and unicorn farts had any useful results. Great, the test proved that it didn't!

But, that test never went into the realm of evaluating those amplifiers to see if the fancy amplifiers could outperform the ordinary amplifiers comprehensively. If the fancy amplifiers can function well under conditions that the ordinary amplifiers cannot, you cannot say that the ordinary amplifiers sound as good as they (under those conditions). You overstated the results of the test.

It's comes off as saying that fancy amplifiers are simply overpriced ordinary amplifiers, without considering that the fancy amplifiers may have features/options/capabilities that were completely ignored for that test.

I concede that I started of critiquing the wrong individual (Richard Clark), when I should have been critiquing you. His test merely tested for something rather useless; you have either dishonestly applied his results or simply overstated what the test evaluated. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume the latter.
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  #57  
Old 05-08-2012, 01:51 PM
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I've cleaned this up including some posts that have attempted to reopen issues that have been addressed. Any attempt to post this stuff again or disrepect for others will lose the poster their membership rights.

@mutescream, I'd reread saratoga's warning. Anything that could be read as disrespectful, as in attempting to tell someone else how to post, or isn't on point as far as ABX testing in this thread won't be taken lightly.

Last edited by skip252; 05-08-2012 at 01:57 PM.
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  #58  
Old 05-08-2012, 02:26 PM
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An blind ABX test is never a qualitative test. It is a test to see if there are discernible differences between A and B. When you make all things equal prior to the test even occurring, it nullifies the possibility of there being discernible differences.

It is not physically possible for the test linked in the OP to establish what he asserts it does. In particular since it was a controlled test, in which all things were made equal prior to the test.
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  #59  
Old 05-09-2012, 07:45 AM
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I pose a question to those in this thread. Were I to make a source recording that conformed to the limitations of a 128Kbps VBR MP3, and then made rips from it both in FLAC and in 128 VBR... And then subsequently normalized volume levels to ensure that both of them were playing at volume levels that had sub audible THD... And then ABX'd them with sufficient sample size... To the highly probable result that no one could effectively tell the difference between the 128Kbps VBR mp3 and the FLAC file... Could I then legitimately claim "FLAC files sounding better than 128Kbps VBR MP3 files debunked"?
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  #60  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:07 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutescream View Post
I pose a question ....
no way to gain quality back even if you transcode your 128kbps MP3 into flac. You can call them anything you want but it doesn't make it better, fact is that it possibly is worse and a huge waste of time. This is why I would only rip my own flac VS downloading. Who know what butchery someone else did to the files or how they encoded them ... http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....le=Transcoding
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