Ron's Subjectivity & Balance Argument.

spiritofmusic

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Hmm, I'm waiting for the much needed Sanity And Mental Balance thread, as an antidote to this one.
 

PeterA

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Hmm, I'm waiting for the much needed Sanity And Mental Balance thread, as an antidote to this one.

Good one, Marc. In doing so, please explain whatever it is you are doing and why you think it is much needed. This thread was started as a response to Ron’s desire to help us all out and not bog down what was a very nice thread started by Mike who was sharthe experience he had visiting David.

That fine thread was derailed. I hope this one is not. There are many long threads about SOTA digital devices, show reports describing the latest and greatest, and discussions about sports and TV shows to keep folks sane.

This thread is describing something fundamental to understanding why some systems sound natural. It is fascinating that you think this thread needs an antidote.
 

spiritofmusic

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No Peter. You guys keep duelling with whatever dictionaries you all choose to arm yourselves with. The rest of us will pour ourselves a stiff drink.
 

thedudeabides

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Marc is spot on. I can see where this thread is going.
 
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ddk

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Marc is spot on. I can see where this thread is going.
Did anyone force you to read or participate in this thread? You contribute NOTHING here and it doesn’t interest you either so why do you both moan and groan about it?

david
 
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thedudeabides

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Oh please. Excuse me for voicing my opinion even if you think it is inappropriate. And others agree with me.

You are the one that tries (without much success) to quantify a totally subjective topic in an objective manner. Also, I recognize I am not one of the chosen few so bark on. Sorry I ruffled your feathers.
 
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ddk

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Oh please. Excuse me for voicing my opinion even if you think it is inappropriate. And others agree with me. You are the one that tries (without much success) to quantify a totally subjective topic in an objective manner.
What opinion dude? Do you have anything to add to the conversation besides throwing mud at everyone and derailing the thread?
Also, I recognize I am not one of the chosen few. Sorry I ruffled your feathers.
This is exactly the type of unnecessary crap that shows you have nothing to say, and you can't ruffle anything on me :) !
david
 
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PeterA

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Dear Ron,

Of course it depends on the person's abilities but I have to disagree with you in principal on this. Experience in this and any other field can be very objective. I believe I'm very objective when I comment on sound quality of systems and my judgment of "natural" sound and principles, it's all reality based and completely objective. The only subjective part is my preference for "natural" vs every other sonic types.

The subjectivity is choosing what you want your audio system to accomplish. The important thing is having some kind of target and then going about achieving it using some kind of methodology known through experience to get you there.

David, you’ve done a great job explaining what you mean by natural sound. I agree the subjective part is for every audio file to decide what he wants. Systems generally sound quite different from each other, but all the systems I’ve heard at your place in Utah share the same sound. That comes from a philosophy and approach that you have chosen to pursue. And you know how to achieve it.

I only use "balance" in system terms not live music. I've never attended a live venue and thought to my myself that it was "balanced", don't see anyone else doing it either. :)

David, I actually referred to live music in the discussion about balance only in the sense that I do not generally think about sonic attributes precisely because various aspects of live acoustic sound are not emphasized or diminished the way they can be in reproduced sound. I made the point that my mind does not go there precisely because the sound is so in balance that I don’t think about it. I have for years described the incredible clarity I hear from performances at the Boston symphony orchestra. This for a long time was what distinguished live music from the sound of my audio system at home. I later came to understand that it’s actually much more than just clarity.

Over time, my audio system has improved precisely because it emphasizes less than it used to. The sound is more in balance, there is more nuance, and there is less homogenization. This improvement is the direct result of better understanding my goals and how to achieve them. David has helped me to understand these things. The actual content in this thread is further valuable information. Whether we choose to try to understand it or to denigrate it, is up to each of us.
 
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wil

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I'm almost daily reminded that my personal holy grail of natural sound is found on our back deck in the forest -- in nature fittingly enough. There's a symphony of wind through the trees that reminds me of the swelling sound of a full string section. And the surround of dozens of different birds near and distant adding their tone colors. Sometimes the chipmunk percussion section is there with their rhythmic thwok- thwocking that sounds like dozens of tiny wood drums being struck by tiny wood mallets. I've heard thunder claps rumble with decays that last for 20 seconds.

What always astounds me is the miraculous clarity and delicacy of the sounds. The closest I've heard to this is with live acoustic music. I'm convinced the best stereo system might optimistically get 25% of the way there.
 
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DLS

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I have followed this and several other recent threads for some time with an increasing sense of estrangement and dread. I have gone back and forth on whether to post any kind of response.

Maybe it’s from my recovery from a Covid-19 breakthrough infection. I turned 70 a couple of weeks ago and attended my first public event in more than two years, the final performance of Le Nozze de Figaro at this season’s Metropolitan Opera, only to return home lamenting the limitations of my listening environment and system to convey the true quality of real lower register music conveyed in such a magnificent acoustic venue. It led me to revisit my thinking on the potential for adding a sub-woofer. Then came the Covid-19 infection, laying me low for days, which had the fortunate consequence of my re-reading various entries I’ve made here and in other venues on bass reproduction, and a revelation years ago on the replacement of speaker cables I had been using with all silver, AudioNote Sogon and their rather shocking illumination of what I believe to be inherent distortions in copper cables. As the fog of Covid lifted, I started to listen to several records my thirty-something kids gave me for my birthday, including Nirvana’s MTV acoustic concert at MSG. I simply had to smile as the music transported me to that event. I will leave my system alone. My own OCD tendencies held at bay for the moment, I am satisfied and as I write this I am listening to a wonderful recording of Cosi Fan Tutti.

So why dread? I have truly enjoyed reading impressions of just how a given system approach conveys a sense of real, but I am increasingly turned off by seemingly personal and needlessly pointless arguing over the specific language and obviously biased equipment point/counterpoint one-ups. We are all biased, and our language is hopelessly inadequate to get to the point. In fact, it seems that the seemingly endless back and forth on the meaning of terms inevitably leads away from any useful dialog.

My audiophilia is not, nor has it ever been, a social thing. I find it fascinating and reassuring that so many here love music and passionately work to improve their home venues and systems. I have always assumed that is true for most who venture on to these WBF pages. I am not a founder, financial supporter, or equipment manufacturer or dealer. I don’t come here to make new friends, though I’ve come to appreciate the intelligence and wit of many who post. But over the past few weeks I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the sense that I am eavesdropping on arguments between insiders too familiar with each other, eager to score points at the expense of making this collective endeavor to find pleasure in listening to music moot.

What is my point? Do members here truly want to argue about just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
 

PeterA

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What always astounds me is the miraculous clarity and delicacy of the sounds. The closest I've heard to this is with live acoustic music. I'm convinced the best stereo system might optimistically get 25% of the way there.

Years ago I remember discussing with a speaker designer that it was very cool that we could recognize our mother’s voices over a crappy telephone. I now enjoy music videos on my iPhone. They sound much better played on my computer and headphones. My home system playing good vinyl sounds even better. And the best systems that I have heard are simply incredible. I will not put a percentage on realism.

We all have different reference systems and listening experiences. I actually think that some systems sound astonishingly convincing and that is reason to be optimistic.
 
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wil

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We all have different reference systems and listening experiences. I actually think that some systems sound astonishingly convincing and that is reason to be optimistic.
I agree in as far as making a relatively convincing facsimile of live music (particularly smaller scale music), but my point is the actual experience of listening to the sounds in the natural world, like in a forest, is a soundscape that electronic reproduction can not at this point come close to reproducing. I think it's largely a matter of scale and everything that brings with it.
 
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thedudeabides

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This is exactly the type of unnecessary crap that shows you have nothing to say and you can't ruffle anything on me :) !
david
I said it. Sorry you disagree.
 
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thedudeabides

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So why dread? I have truly enjoyed reading impressions of just how a given system approach conveys a sense of real, but I am increasingly turned off by seemingly personal and needlessly pointless arguing over the specific language and obviously biased equipment point/counterpoint one-ups. We are all biased, and our language is hopelessly inadequate to get to the point. In fact, it seems that the seemingly endless back and forth on the meaning of terms inevitably leads away from any useful dialog.

What is my point? Do members here truly want to argue about just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Nuff said but stated in a far more eloquent manner.
 

tima

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We are all biased, and our language is hopelessly inadequate to get to the point. In fact, it seems that the seemingly endless back and forth on the meaning of terms inevitably leads away from any useful dialog.

It must be difficult to take on feelings of estrangement and dread when reading an audio forum. Maybe you are right that this is brought on by your encounter with a disease, OCD tendencies, or the frustration you feel with your stereo upon hearing a live Mozart opera. This forum is not the cause of those feelings.

I've never read any of your posts before this one, so I don't know if this typical, but you appeared in the middle of this thread to compain about how it is proceeding, or something, I"m not quite sure. Apparently some folks like your complaint.

Nonetheless at risk of compounding your disenjoymnet, I am going to push back on your generalized caricature of everyone and your statement about languge as hopelessly inadequate. You may find my comments suffering from the same afflication you describe, so think twice before reading further.

I don't believe we are all biased. I do believe we each have our own opinion, perspective and preferences. Bias typically suggests a preconceived, unreasoned or prejudicial tendency, inclination, feeling or view. I find the majority of forum participants generally to be reasonable and rational whether I like or agree with what they say. Many of us consider the forum as a way to share information, gather input on a topic, or as entertainment.

I do agree that music as we hear it live and from our stereos can be difficult to describe but I do not believe our language is hopelessly inadequate to the task. It strikes me as very odd that man would create something he cannot describe. There certainly is a broad vocabulary of agreed upon terms to describe the physical properties of sound. The is considerable literature from music critics describing a performance or concert. You may find those inadequate or not, but the writing continues in almost all tongues. The fact that such people are writing about music across the centuries suggests that doing so is not hopelessly inadequate to the job it attempts to do.

In audiophile world, there are regular attempts to describe what we hear from our stereos. The search for input from others on what they hear/experience from some particular piece of gear is almost a constant in forums. Imo, the squabbling over certain words is ultimately an attempt to understand what another is saying or to discover which words better represent one's views on what they prefer. Language matters. Of course there is the back-and-forth between individuals that occurs in any social endeavor or hobby - no reason to expect that goes away in audiophile world.

By and large we are attempting to communicate and express ourselves. I find it interesting that a solitary activity such as listening seemingly requires a social element - maybe that's human nature. Seeking agreement with or confirmation of one's own views is part of it, but if we all agree the forum will be incredibly boring. A willingness to expose oneself to the ideas of others - like them or not - is, imo, a sign of rationality, of overcoming or denying bias.

-------------------------------------------------------------

I do appreciate that you enjoy Mozart operas which are great fun - the equivalent of Broadway musicals. I don't know which is my favorite. I love the Letter Duet in Figaro and the grand wackiness of Die Zauberflöte with the Queen of the Night, the Darth Vader of Mozart's operas.
 

ddk

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It must be difficult to take on feelings of estrangement and dread when reading an audio forum. Maybe you are right that this is brought on by your encounter with a disease, OCD tendencies, or the frustration you feel with your stereo upon hearing a live Mozart opera. This forum is not the cause of those feelings.

I've never read any of your posts before this one, so I don't know if this typical, but you appeared in the middle of this thread to compain about how it is proceeding, or something, I"m not quite sure. Apparently some folks like your complaint.

Nonetheless at risk of compounding your disenjoymnet, I am going to push back on your generalized caricature of everyone and your statement about languge as hopelessly inadequate. You may find my comments suffering from the same afflication you describe, so think twice before reading further.

I don't believe we are all biased. I do believe we each have our own opinion, perspective and preferences. Bias typically suggests a preconceived, unreasoned or prejudicial tendency, inclination, feeling or view. I find the majority of forum participants generally to be reasonable and rational whether I like or agree with what they say. Many of us consider the forum as a way to share information, gather input on a topic, or as entertainment.

I do agree that music as we hear it live and from our stereos can be difficult to describe but I do not believe our language is hopelessly inadequate to the task. It strikes me as very odd that man would create something he cannot describe. There certainly is a broad vocabulary of agreed upon terms to describe the physical properties of sound. The is considerable literature from music critics describing a performance or concert. You may find those inadequate or not, but the writing continues in almost all tongues. The fact that such people are writing about music across the centuries suggests that doing so is not hopelessly inadequate to the job it attempts to do.

In audiophile world, there are regular attempts to describe what we hear from our stereos. The search for input from others on what they hear/experience from some particular piece of gear is almost a constant in forums. Imo, the squabbling over certain words is ultimately an attempt to understand what another is saying or to discover which words better represent one's views on what they prefer. Language matters. Of course there is the back-and-forth between individuals that occurs in any social endeavor or hobby - no reason to expect that goes away in audiophile world.

By and large we are attempting to communicate and express ourselves. I find it interesting that a solitary activity such as listening seemingly requires a social element - maybe that's human nature. Seeking agreement with or confirmation of one's own views is part of it, but if we all agree the forum will be incredibly boring. A willingness to expose oneself to the ideas of others - like them or not - is, imo, a sign of rationality, of overcoming or denying bias.

-------------------------------------------------------------

I do appreciate that you enjoy Mozart operas which are great fun - the equivalent of Broadway musicals. I don't know which is my favorite. I love the Letter Duet in Figaro and the grand wackiness of Die Zauberflöte with the Queen of the Night, the Darth Vader of Mozart's operas.
We’re in a new interesting territory now!

david
 
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PeterA

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We’re in a new interesting territory now!

david

David, do you mean in the way we think about reproduced music and describe it or the contentiousness of different opinions and approaches, or both?

There seems to be less acceptance or even outright rejection of certain language and the opinions or approaches of others. And people are getting more overt about it. This can lead to new ideas, growth, and learning, or it can turn people off. Right now it seems to be the latter.
 
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ddk

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David, do you mean in the way we think about reproduced music and describe it or the contentiousness of different opinions and approaches, or both?
Sharing feelings.

david
 
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wil

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David, do you mean in the way we think about reproduced music and describe it or the contentiousness of different opinions and approaches, or both?

There seems to be less acceptance or even outright rejection of certain language and the opinions or approaches of others. And people are getting more overt about it. This can lead to new ideas, growth, and learning, or it can turn people off. Right now it seems to be the latter.
I don't know why anyone would object to this particular thread. Maybe the dissection of "balanced" could be a little over-cooked, but so what? If people are going feel like they might get their wings clipped when they try to dive into a subject, this forum will indeed end up very boring.
 

Ron Resnick

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Imo, the squabbling over certain words is ultimately an attempt to understand what another is saying or to discover which words better represent one's views on what they prefer. Language matters.

+1
 

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