Interesting Pinknoise Magazine Article

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
An interesting point of view. I have my own ideas having worked both sales and service in the audio industry, even servicing recording studios. This is a world often closed to the audio enthusiast who seems to want, more than anything else, to be included.

Without access to what goes on behind closed doors, they strive to be relevant in some way. Often they do not have the technical vocabulary or understanding needed to understand the whys and hows of reproduction. If they also lack really high quality reproduction equipment, they strive to participate in the only ways open to them. In the process, and entire belief system has been created that befuddles the technical mind of people who work directly with the recording or service of reproduction equipment. Both sides dig in to defend their belief system and create (mostly false) assumptions about the folks "on the other side". The end result of this is best typified by the "objective vs subjective" debate. I do not see an end as there are some who profit from this situation. They periodically make statements that widen the gulf between those two camps.

You can't train every person in the "other" viewpoint, and most would not spend the time anyway. As long as audio remains a mystery to some, and artistic descriptions elude the understanding of the rest, I can't see any end to the debate.

Call this a human condition. Stalemate.

-Chris
 
+1 Anatech,

I agree. The issue is hidden in plain sight in that article. It refers to 'religious zealots'. We don't discuss religion in polite company as it leads to frustration, emotion, eventually it turns into arguments, offence and worse. It's even banned in this forum. But this limitation to civil conversation exists in many walks of life and that includes audio - not religion in the common use of the term, but rather belief. Wavebourn was the person I remember who posted a comment on this issue a few years ago - he said don't try to argue with somebody's belief. If I believe a cable sounds better, or a reviewer is biassed or a circuit topology sounds harsh - in circumstances where we don't have any scientific measurements to correlate with then we have all the makings of trouble and many entertaining threads :D

And just like many other walks of life, people are out there to exploit beliefs for personal gain, encouraging the behaviour. It's as old as religion.
 
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Pano

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-10-07 6:05 am
Panama
what i have learned so far....that no matter how people swear that how it sounds is priority, in reality they go after how it looks....so if they like what they see, chances are they will also like what they hear....;)
That is the conventional wisdom and can be true, sometimes. But I've been present at enough tests where looks were trumped by sound quality, not to believe it. Ugly things sound good, beautiful or impressive things sounded crap, or disappointing. Little sounds big or big sounds puny.

Looks matter, but sound matters more. IME.
 

TonyTecson

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2003-05-29 2:57 am
Maybunga, Pasig City
That is the conventional wisdom and can be true, sometimes. But I've been present at enough tests where looks were trumped by sound quality, not to believe it. Ugly things sound good, beautiful or impressive things sounded crap, or disappointing. Little sounds big or big sounds puny.

Looks matter, but sound matters more. IME.

i don't take it against anyone for thinking like that, after all it is their happiness that matters in the end, who am i to tell them otherwise? :D

another case in point, i made a very good sounding pp amp out of tevee tubes....very well received by those who tried it...but still most would rather get one that is made out of traditionally well known audio tubes....it took some monks in a monastery to appreciate and adopted it....
 
That is the conventional wisdom and can be true, sometimes. But I've been present at enough tests where looks were trumped by sound quality, not to believe it. Ugly things sound good, beautiful or impressive things sounded crap, or disappointing. Little sounds big or big sounds puny.

Looks matter, but sound matters more. IME.


Unfortunately many of my prototypes have not looked very nice, and as much as I hate to say it looks do matter particularly if you have something to sell whether it be your competence as a designer or the particular item in question. Humans are a visual lot and if something looks great and sounds mediocre it will probably be preferred over something that achieves absolute sonic perfection (whatever the hell that means) but looks like a piece of junk pulled out of a trash barrel. SY would argue that a DBT would remove this bias which is absolutely true, but not the modus operandi of the people who you have to sell yourself and your design philosophy to. And I am working on it. (Not making much progress again...)
 

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Hi Kevin,
Perfectly understandable. I will often council someone to also take appearances into account. After all, they have to look at the system day after day. But once the appearance clears a certain level and is acceptable, that problem is diminished.

Have you ever asked your wife what she thinks might look good? Mine isn't extremely technical, but she can easily pick out a poorly performing product that isn't that bad. She either likes something, or doesn't. It's pretty simple with her. I have to build some amplifiers for a few customers, and I will be asking for her input both visually and for a listening test. They have to pass both tests.

-Chris