Funniest snake oil theories

let's look at the bright side :) it is somehow funny.

(this is in the context of cable directionality)

A: "I always connect the cables by looking at the printing direction: source at the left side"
B: "but you do agree that the direction of the print can actually be random and based on the way some machines operate, right?"
A: "look pal, I try to experiment, not restrict myself to some narrow-minded theories"
B: "ok, but there's no actual experimenting going on"
A: "you engineers!"

fella wasn't able to see the substance of it, that being that taking whichever factor is at hand as absolute reference has nothing to do with experimentation. I mean, it's not even about the snake oil part of it. it's about the most basic logic.

IMO this best exemplifies the signature SY used to have: it is the "mystical" part of human mind operating.

sometimes I think I should just find another hobby so that I don't get to meet these types.
 
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yes guys but...
even if we replace "cable" with something else is still doesn't make sense.
I mean, the guy is saying that he was experimenting, when in fact he wans't.
this is the "WOW" part of it.

I'm helpless in understanding it, I throw my hands in the air. please, please someone enlighten me.
is it that these guys actually understand their errors but pretend otherwise? could it be that they have very perverse minds?
this question is serious.
 
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CopperTop

Member
2009-02-28 9:40 am
UK
Cables has got to be the funniest one of all. The new trend for 're-calibration' is the icing on the cake.

I wonder how many people around here are completely, 100% immune from the cable meme. I am. No cable in my system cost more than a couple of quid except for some £15 cables I bought many years ago.

The idea of burning in cables provides great entertainment. I pay tribute to the creative people who came up with cable lifters. Cryogenic and heat treatments was genius.
 
I do have cables with arrows on them myself :D connected the right direction, of course.
they looked nice and if I invite audiophiles to my place I tell them they're the best sounding ones I've been able to find, they look spectacular enough to be credible :D

but... looks like this "nouveau audiophilia" is emerging: throw all the theory, damn the engineers. AND throw away the logic too. who knows, maybe one day some audiophile will have the idea to set his (no, no "/her", no woman would come up with something like this) speakers on fire in order to break them in.
why not?

[email protected] it, I'm not agianst cable lifters. some people use egg crates. they're free. if they provide pleasure (even imagined) it's fine.
but giving up on logic altogether? deny reality?
 
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sonidos

Member
Paid Member
2007-07-25 6:37 pm
Round Rock, TX
Ah, a serious question. Well, in all my years of hanging around guys, if someone was not so technical, they had a pretty cavalier attitude of what is considered experimenting.

I always enjoy SY's writings on experimentation because it takes me back to Physics lab and tracking variables in our experiments, understanding error, etc.

But if someone says they put one IC with writing in one direction and the other IC in the opposite direction and call it a breakthrough in their experiments with enhanced sound...well....you can argue and argue and you will get the same type of response as your first post.

All you will feel is this.. :headbash:
 
you can argue and argue and you will get the same type of response as your first post.
I know.

All you will feel is this.. :headbash:
I know!


sometimes I think... is it any wonder we still fight over who's god is best? or that e don't have any cure for cancer? I mean, just read my original post LOL

strangest part is that I may be having such a part myself, just haven't discovered it yet.
maybe I'm a repressed capacitor listener? maybe this is just my subconscious trying to come out of the audio closet?
:eek:
 
People always strive for understanding. If they can't or won't understand the truth about a situation then they will invent their own 'truth' and firmly believe it. They may even assume that they have deeper understanding than the 'closed mind' people who actually do understand (at least part of) the truth about the situation.

I once had a dental technician try to 'correct' my understanding of quantum physics - he could not conceive of anything so counter-intuitive so therefore it had to be wrong. Lurk on here for more than a few days and someone will try to 'correct' your understanding of circuit theory/calculus/trigonometry/algebra/electromagnetism or even claim that such things are not useful for audio. Just listen and twiddle the knob (or swap components) until it sounds 'right'.
 

CopperTop

Member
2009-02-28 9:40 am
UK
OK I've got an interesting one for you.
http://www.hificritic.com/downloads/digital/HIFICRITIC_Quad2805.pdf

Esteemed hi fi reviewer Martin Colloms says this in his review of the Quad 2805 ESL:
Halfway through the listening, we thought we had got the measure of this review ESL, and then I got round to turning off the illuminated Quad badges. Operating in an admittedly high resolution reference system, powering down the panel logo had a quite dramatic effect on the sound quality, removing a certain colouration that I can only liken to the twang of a stretched plastic bag. Some excess grain and grit in the treble, by no means serious but certainly audible, also almost vanished. Clarity, focus,
image depth and dynamics were all significantly improved, to the same sort of degree as you might get by changing to a better amplifier.

What lessons can we take away from this? Never fit illuminated badges to your speakers? For me, the annoying thing is that the person who came up with the illuminated badge idea probably received a dressing down from his boss, when there may be no actual possible way that it could affect the sound. It seems like a classic 'expectation bias' result to me, but that doesn't even occur to the reviewer. Maybe he could have enquired about what it was in the circuitry that led to such a remarkable result from something so apparently innocuous.

If we are claiming that it obviously did affect the sound on the basis of the reviewer's comments, then we are bringing into question the basis of all audio design, suggesting that for all the engineering theory it is basically a lottery: fit an LED to your masterpiece and you may degrade its sound to mid-fi and never be able to track down the cause.
 
People always strive for understanding.
this is interesting. do you think so?
Jan Didden has this blog entry: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/blogs/jan-didden/297-dont-such-scientist.html

I don't agree with it, in the sense that IMO science is NOT for the masses and there's no real gain from popularizing it. scientists should remain scientists, geeks should remain geeks, Hollywood figures should remain Hollywood figures. and not exchange places, that is. is it not intuitive? well, so what, just be good at what you're good at.
but it's obvious that some people are more rational than others and understanding is not on on everyone's list. being somewhat irrational is not bad in itself, IMO. there are a lot of thing you'll fail at being 100% rational.
trouble is when people of very different world views intersect, IMO it's rarely possible to reach a compromise.

which reminds me of a funny moment. I was talking with this girl about some random matters. at one point she tells me: "well, I gotta admit: you're absolutely right. but why won't you just allow me to be wrong from time to time?"
:)
 
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Ohhh, I got a good one fer ya.

"I once read that you have to regularly subject cables to DC...you know, to replace the old electrons, with fresh ones..."

I did that exact thing by accident once, but the results were not beneficial - the interconnect was still plugged in to the input of my power amp. Too many fresh electrons for the woofer...............
 
Hi PushPull,
you already know the answer, but don't dare to write - right?

Know how is putting burden to the human mind - it's like a prison.
Limitations everywere!
Free your mind and ignore what scientists or engineers tell.
Only clean and innocent absence of know how will elevate you to the next level of human evolution.
Homo sapiens - a pretty presumptuous naming, which describes an interim fashion of the humans.
Mankind is close to the next level.
We are doing great progress in wiping out the know how, which limits our imagination.

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
 
People always strive for understanding. If they can't or won't understand the truth about a situation then they will invent their own 'truth' and firmly believe it. They may even assume that they have deeper understanding than the 'closed mind' people who actually do understand (at least part of) the truth about the situation.

I once had a dental technician try to 'correct' my understanding of quantum physics - he could not conceive of anything so counter-intuitive so therefore it had to be wrong. Lurk on here for more than a few days and someone will try to 'correct' your understanding of circuit theory/calculus/trigonometry/algebra/electromagnetism or even claim that such things are not useful for audio. Just listen and twiddle the knob (or swap components) until it sounds 'right'.


And then laugh when they twiddle too far and they jump out of their skin as the thing explodes, goes bang, or goes up in smoke.
 
Then there are the equally foolish who are dismissive of good reasoning because it "sounds voodoo". For example, directionality in cables. I always orient my cables according to the text on them. Why? Because that's how, when I assemble them, I terminate the shielding to be "telescoping". Which "end" a shield connects to can have a significant effect on the performance of said shield, I generally find best results when the shield is connected at source, but some people have found them better (for noise performance) connected the other way around, or terminated at one end with a capacitor, or, or, or.....

The point is to be sure that you fully understand what you initially react to as nonsensical, before you dismiss it 100%.

I tend to be more accepting of oddball tweaking than your typical DIY Audio denizen, though naturally some/much of it is true and pure snake oil.
 
@Choco:
could be.

well, I guess it goes like this: A sees B as the enemy. A was once told by an engineering type that all an amp needs for good sound is 0.01% THD and flat FR. and that specific engineering type was wrong. therefore all engineering types are always wrong. it's even better to distance oneself from them. even hate them secretly. so A shuts down his mind. or reverses whatever B says. whatever B says, the opposite must be true.
 
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Which "end" a shield connects to can have a significant effect on the performance of said shield, I generally find best results when the shield is connected at source, but some people have found them better (for noise performance) connected the other way around, or terminated at one end with a capacitor, or, or, or.....
not the case here.

I agree with the rest of what you said. I personally find many if not all non audio-oriented EEs very close minded when it comes to audio. I don't even get into discussions with them because of that. one man can only take "I'll show you the schematic of the perfect amp" so many times.
IMO it's pretty obvious why there aren't many good audio engineers: they would have to be good EEs with an open mind and at the same time critical enough of voodoo. I don't believe these conditions are often met at the same time.
 
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