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Old 1st May 2009, 07:54 PM  
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: US
Originally posted by gedlee

I'm not saying that subjectivism has no place, but it has to be a confirmation of the objective measurements. If you cannot measure what you hear then you are mesauing the wrong things, and if you like that which is not objectively validated as accurate then you are not seeking "fidelity" or "truth", but some magical and mystical "feeling" that you are not likely to ever find. Marketers will love you!
Round and round we go..

It would be nice if we could make a confirmation (or not) of subjective responses with objective measurements - but to come anywhere close to accuracy for such an assessment is often at best impractical. This goes back to that "hobby" aspect..

What you want requires:

1. Proper measurement equipment/location and expertise obtaining measurements.
2. Proper controls/measurement of subjective responses.
3. Proper analysis of information from 1 & 2.

1. Can be difficult.. not necessarily to get measurements, but to get measurements that all can agree are "good enough".
2. Almost no one does this - including professionals, and for those few that do, rarely is it done well. Various *controls* rarely go far enough to be effective (..again, that all could agree on).
3. Even if you can pass "hurdles" 1 & 2, it isn't certain that *anyone* will be able to make a correlation. Sure, it would be nice to have the opportunity to attempt it, but even if we had that opportunity it doesn't mean that we would necessarily be accurate in the analysis.

All of the above isn't to say that people shouldn't attempt it if they want to, but rather that as a hobby 99.9999+% would not spend the kind of time and resources necessary to provide what you would require ("..has to be").

To put an even finer point on the "hobby" aspect is, (as D OB G has stated), that the audiophile hobby is usually A SECONDARY HOBBY.

For most the real purpose is to have a better listening experience with most of their playback material, NOT NECESSARILY A MORE "ACCURATE" LISTENING EXPERIENCE. The primary hobby then is musical listening enjoyment for that particular individual (and perhaps their immediate family members).


Ok, so why all the above (yet again)?

"Dropping" statements in another person's thread like:

"Who needs measurements when we have audiophiles!!"

- Is nothing more than a cheap shot implying that the person's subjective comments have no worth. It's a tacky demeaning post in a "forum" where most participants actually want such comments. IMO, the occasional tacky cheap-shot is funny. But, if you use it to often it looses it's humor ..AND it really needs to be appropriate for the overall thread. Just from the first post of this thread it was clear that it's specifically about a basic subjective comment, so using it here.. not so funny. This is especially true when you consider that most of the subjective comments were actually "demanded" by another poster.

One final note:

.. while the basic premise here of subjective-to-objective critical assessment is untenable for most hobbyists (as mentioned above), it actually has little to do with subjective comments.

(..yup, read that again.)

Each subjective comment has an implied caveat:

When someone subjectively describes how "x" is better than "y", they are NOT actually stating that "x" is better than "y".

What they are stating is that for themselves personally (or others who have direct personal experience with very similar results), that at the time of auditioning and for the likely foreseeable future - they currently believe that "x" is better than "y".

The obvious (or not so obvious) caveat then is: it may have no direct application to others. i.e. "your mileage may vary" or "YMMV". But again, it *should* be obvious, so it's usually redundant to use such a caveat.

This goes on all the time on a forum like this.

A requirement for measurements actually holds no significant meaning when placed in this context. Here, a veracity "check", (measurement offered as proof), is only meaningful *if* the commenter is actually lying, and what would be the point? (..are they selling something? This poster isn't.)

Basic conclusion then:

Subjective comments are what they are - don't try to "morph" them into absolutes and require proof for that absolute statement (..that never existed).
perspective is everything
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