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Old 10th Jul 2023, 5:54 pm   #3161
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

The usual market philosophy is to introduce the highest price point first. This is a tactic with loudspeaker and amplifier manufacturers for decades. That generates interest at hifi shows and the audio press, and hence the punter, who generally can't afford the megabuck offering.

Fairly rapidly followed by more affordable derivatives.

An example was the Wharfedale Option One from the mid 80's. This is what they looked like https://allsystemstech.ca/main/2018/...daleoptionone/ .

Dipolar driver arrangement, active crossovers, and Quad supplied and modified 405 dumpers.

These behemoths were a two person lift.

About £10k to 12k in '85, they were by far the most expensive thing that Wharfedale ever produced. Very few sold, not surprisingly. But they generated a lot of interest, and hence generated sales of much more modest loudspeakers.

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Old 10th Jul 2023, 9:59 pm   #3162
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

QSA can also convert a standard QNAP brand wi-fi router to 'audio grade' by sticking on Poundland sparkly dress-up stickers (what they call 'magic gems')

https://quantum-science-audio.com/au...e-wifi6-router


Or if you prefer the wired option, the gem-infused LAN router topping out at US$13.5k

https://quantum-science-audio.com/qsa-lan-switch


But then you'll also need some of these to tame all your Cat6 cables:

https://quantum-science-audio.com/qsa-lan-jitter
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 1:02 pm   #3163
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

On the subject of Audiophoolery I came across this web review of an Audio grade switch which I thought others might find interesting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHPwPRLxDWc
It is one of a series of reviews done by a US engineer which debunks most of the myths around audio using test methods and good quality test equipment, measuring the results needless to say he debunks most of the claims of high end audio.
His website is here https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...x.php?reviews/ and his YouTube channel is here https://www.youtube.com/@AudioScienceReview/videos

He seems to have a good range of knowledge and is informative in a US style of presentation.
I would be interested in the view of others.
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 1:58 pm   #3164
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Ah, ASR and dear old Amir. I absolutely agree with him on the nonsense of network switches, grounding boxes and the like. I also liked his measurement on one of said grounding boxes where he showed that, as many of us suspected, it acted more like an antenna than providing any sort of 'grounding' .

Sadly, when it comes to actual equipment reviews, I would take his opinions with a very large pinch of salt. He makes lots of lovely measurements and shows many pretty graphs but I remain unconvinced that he knows why he's measuring what he's measuring in some cases. Equally, some of his interpretations of those measurements can be remarkably wide of the mark.

I also love the absolute 100% correlation between stuff that he says sounds bad and can't recommend, and measurements that, in his view, are sub-par. Of course, he always measures first and then listens - expectation bias anyone?
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 3:03 pm   #3165
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Unfortunately any and all attempts to debunk audiophoolery will fall upon the deaf ears of the true believer in much the same way as any attempt to disprove the existence of deities to the religious convert will.

“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
― Mark Twain. This could have been coined specifically for the audiophool!

Once they've spent hard cash on a magic fuse, enchanted wire or box of soil with "earthing magic" built in and they've spouted off on numerous hi fi forums about how wonderful the results are they will never admit to having been conned. Your only chance is to get to them before they start reading hi fi magazines, visiting hi fi dealers and going on hi fi forums.

I've spent probably a hundred hours or more over several years trying to redress the balance towards the truth, but even when I've proved some claim to be impossible, as it would have to break the laws of physics, it makes no difference and the usual response is to claim that the laws of physics are very obviously wrong as their ears tell them so

The likes of Amir on ASR (and the likes of Doug Self and our very own Sergeauckland) are nearly as bad in the opposite direction! IE that everything can be measured and any hi fi unit judged 100% accurately without even listening to it and based purely on measurements...
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 3:36 pm   #3166
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

l have a customer who is massively into HI-FI. He lives in a rented flat, and could have bought a house with the money he's spent on HI-FI over the years.

He's got a good relationship with the local specialist HI-FI dealer and they lent him some very expensive leads to "appraise"

As in, £17,000 for a pair of speaker leads and £10,000 for a phono lead. "They were so much better" he said to me "that l can no longer listen to my system with the old leads back on"

Bear in mind that his existing leads are not cheap and his speaker wires look like something you'd use in an electrical sub station.

l am not sure what happened after that because l've not seen him since.
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 3:43 pm   #3167
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

But Quad did exactly that too. They never did listening tests on their products, with the possible exception of the loudspeakers.

Their view was - design it right, measure it right, production engineer it. Job done. And very largely they were right.

Craig
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 3:50 pm   #3168
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

For anyone interested in the audible threshold of distortion, there is a double blind AB test on Klippel's website

https://www.klippel.de/listeningtest/

For anyone not knowing who Klippel are, they are the world leading suppliers of loudspeaker modelling software, and measurement systems. Every loudspeaker driver manufacturer worthy of mention uses their stuff.

You might be surprised at the results of the test, and your own perception threshold for non-linear distortions.

Craig
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 3:58 pm   #3169
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by lightning View Post
l have a customer who is massively into HI-FI. He lives in a rented flat, and could have bought a house with the money he's spent on HI-FI over the years.

He's got a good relationship with the local specialist HI-FI dealer and they lent him some very expensive leads to "appraise"

As in, £17,000 for a pair of speaker leads and £10,000 for a phono lead. "They were so much better" he said to me "that l can no longer listen to my system with the old leads back on"

Bear in mind that his existing leads are not cheap and his speaker wires look like something you'd use in an electrical sub station.

l am not sure what happened after that because l've not seen him since.
That is the problem with obsession alas. That is a story of audio obsession ruling someone's life. But it could as well be any other obsession.

Craig
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 4:08 pm   #3170
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
For anyone interested in the audible threshold of distortion, there is a double blind AB test on Klippel's website

https://www.klippel.de/listeningtest/

For anyone not knowing who Klippel are, they are the world leading suppliers of loudspeaker modelling software, and measurement systems. Every loudspeaker driver manufacturer worthy of mention uses their stuff.

You might be surprised at the results of the test, and your own perception threshold for non-linear distortions.

Craig
I'm attempting to do it on my computer and it asks if I'm using a 6 inch or a full range speaker? The next question I just don't understand. I'd love to do the tests though!
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 4:13 pm   #3171
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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But Quad did exactly that too. They never did listening tests on their products, with the possible exception of the loudspeakers.

Their view was - design it right, measure it right, production engineer it. Job done. And very largely they were right.

Craig
Only right up to the point where Peter Walker privately admitted to someone in the industry I knew that he wished he’d not been so closed-minded, as he finally realised that the “perfectly adequate” resistors he’d been using for years were adversely affecting the sound of the company’s amplifiers!
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 4:22 pm   #3172
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
But Quad did exactly that too. They never did listening tests on their products, with the possible exception of the loudspeakers.

Their view was - design it right, measure it right, production engineer it. Job done. And very largely they were right.

Craig
If someone can *reliably* hear artefact, but can't measure it, then they are looking in the wrong place with their measurement apparatus, or not testing the DUT in the mode that generates the artefact.

Audiophool mods such as cables / fuses etc. are premised on the concept that they bring benefits that can't be measured with conventional test gear. There is no evidence to suggest that something which can reliably be heard under A/B/X conditions cannot be measured. The problem is measuring in the right place, under the right conditions.

The whole concept of there being qualities in audio that cannot be quantified is, quite frankly, steeped in anti-science and anti-intellectualism. It's downright disrespectful to the likes of Walker and Baxandall. It's the reason why most of audio's brightest designers get out of audio and into RF. Who can blame them?
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 4:23 pm   #3173
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
But Quad did exactly that too. They never did listening tests on their products, with the possible exception of the loudspeakers.

Their view was - design it right, measure it right, production engineer it. Job done. And very largely they were right.

Craig
Hmm well I and many others would disagree there! Their ESL speakers are wonderful but most of their amplifiers rather less so. They are a tour de force of production engineering, generally reliable and good VFM but in sound quality merely "adequate for the price".

Yes I'm well aware of the Quad/James Moir tests published in Wireless World 1978 and subsequent follow ups. I stand with the hi fi journalists here as my own extensive experience tells me that, contrary to P J Walkers assertion, all well designed amplifiers do not sound the same.

Last edited by Jez1234; 9th Aug 2023 at 4:36 pm.
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 4:24 pm   #3174
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by Beobloke View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
But Quad did exactly that too. They never did listening tests on their products, with the possible exception of the loudspeakers.

Their view was - design it right, measure it right, production engineer it. Job done. And very largely they were right.

Craig
Only right up to the point where Peter Walker privately admitted to someone in the industry I knew that he wished he’d not been so closed-minded, as he finally realised that the “perfectly adequate” resistors he’d been using for years were adversely affecting the sound of the company’s amplifiers!
Carbon comp Rs can introduce distortion in some places, so it's plausible that a resistor can introduce distortion. Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that Walker said this?
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 4:29 pm   #3175
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

NB - on the basis of evidence, i.e. making acclaimed recordings, Quad's amps are pretty much unsurpassed. They were all over Abbey Road studios, as well as the Beeb. On paper, they were responsible for tracking and mixing more successful recordings than the other brands put together. Of course, audiophiles know better - and there is no way to quantify why!
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 5:00 pm   #3176
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
For anyone interested in the audible threshold of distortion, there is a double blind AB test on Klippel's website

https://www.klippel.de/listeningtest/

For anyone not knowing who Klippel are, they are the world leading suppliers of loudspeaker modelling software, and measurement systems. Every loudspeaker driver manufacturer worthy of mention uses their stuff.

You might be surprised at the results of the test, and your own perception threshold for non-linear distortions.

Craig
It's another contentious issue! Some types of distortion can be present in surprisingly large amounts and go largely unnoticed, pickup cartridges, magnetic tape, speakers etc (without a "perfect" reference anyway), whilst others can be objectionable at small levels, such as crossover distortion.

John Linsley Hood had a letter published in Electronics and Wireless World prob around mid 90's in which he described a very interesting experiment in which he used signal generators to replicate particular orders of harmonic distortion of a steady state signal. He varied phase as well as level and tried a variety of waveforms. The takeaway from it was that at certain high order harmonics and when the phase was also just right, he and some younger testers he enlisted for their fresh ears were able to easily and repeatably hear 0.002% distortion.

He could not offer an explanation for it and suggested it could be something worthy of further research.
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 5:17 pm   #3177
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by knobtwiddler View Post
NB - on the basis of evidence, i.e. making acclaimed recordings, Quad's amps are pretty much unsurpassed. They were all over Abbey Road studios, as well as the Beeb. On paper, they were responsible for tracking and mixing more successful recordings than the other brands put together. Of course, audiophiles know better - and there is no way to quantify why!
So were the Yamaha NS10's....
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 5:36 pm   #3178
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that Walker said this?
If I remember right, Noel Keywood wrote to this effect, and I think Walker said it in the context of reliability rather than sound quality differences. Of course the subjectivists then pile in and claim they were right all along...
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 6:15 pm   #3179
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobtwiddler View Post
NB - on the basis of evidence, i.e. making acclaimed recordings, Quad's amps are pretty much unsurpassed. They were all over Abbey Road studios, as well as the Beeb. On paper, they were responsible for tracking and mixing more successful recordings than the other brands put together. Of course, audiophiles know better - and there is no way to quantify why!
So were the Yamaha NS10's....
NS10s have a massive peak in the midrange that highlights the balance between vocal and lead instruments. They take a lot of training to get used to. Mixes made via NS10s have a characteristic that not only works in loud environments, i.e. working against Fletcher Munson, but they also enable mix engineers to get the vocal to cut out on radio that's hyper-limited. They are not meant to be nice listening speakers and I've never met anyone who considered them to be so. They are a tool in the mix engineer's arsenal that enables midrange coherence in real world environments. As with Quad amps, you simply cannot argue with the amount of records that are prized by audiophiles that were mixed with them. Their utility is a statistical fact. Of course, mix engineers will never rely on one set of monitors, and will cross-reference against the Tannoy / ATC etc. No mix engineer would dream of having a pair of NS10 at home - they are a work tool.
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 6:17 pm   #3180
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Walker at least did agree that fuses inline with loudspeakers have a deleterious effect.

Bizarrely, the same audiophools who swore that fuses in mains plugs effect the sound (they don't obviously) were reluctant to believe me when I told them it was the one place where a fuse can have an effect.. and the vast majority of those owning equipment (amps or speakers) that indeed did have an inline fuse refused to try it on the grounds that the manufacturer had seen fit to include the fuse so it must be of paramount importance to safety. I pointed out that probably 80- 90% of such equipment eschews such a fuse but to no avail.
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