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#17058 - 08/11/03 04:13 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
2x6spds Offline

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3121
Loc: CA, USA

Axiom fans may well love their speakers and take joy in how inexpensive they are, but I think they're also very pleased with the quality of music they put out.

It's also great that Axiom speakers sound as good or better than some very, very expensive competitors.

I think that's about as far as I'd be comfortable generalizing about what Axiom owners believe or don't believe.

Just because Axiom owners may agree that Axiom speakers are inexpensive and wonderful does not mean that these owners agree that:

1. All amps sound the same;

2. There is no discernable difference in the quality of audio put out by different CD players;

3. There is no discernable difference in sound quality between different interconnects, power cords or speaker wire.

I suppose what you're saying is that to disagree with your position, or Chess's, makes someone a "self-described audiophile" who needs to feel "different [better] than everybody else" who "belong to an elite cadre of individuals with heightened sense."

Gee, I don't feel like that.

Seems to me that you have it backwards Big Will. On the one side, folks who are calling for more tolerance and an open mind, on the other side, you who accuse those making that argument for tolerance as ridiculing folks who disagree or accusing them of having inferior senses and/or reasoning ability.

On the one hand, those who call for a more reasoned discussion and more tolerance to dissenting opinions. On the other hand, you, who accuse these folks of hawking snake oil and not belonging on the Axiom forum.

I'd guess that Chess has had the PM machine humming and asked you to jump in here and "defend" him. If I'm wrong, sorry. But if I'm correct, why don't you post the PMs you received from Chess asking you to join in this discussion so we can get this whole thing out in the open?

What is clear is that folks who are of the opinion that all CD players are the same as to audio quality, that all amps are the same as to audio quality and that all cabling is the same as to audio quality, seem to also be saying, "you better believe that also, and if you don't agree with us, you don't belong on this board."

Now, I doubt that is the position of the folks at Axiom, but if Axiom agrees with you says that the expression of opinions that amps, CDPs and/or cabling can make a difference in sound quality, don't belong on this site, and folks who make that argument are not welcome, I'll leave.

But as to you, I figure I'm as entitled to hold and express my opinion as you are.
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

#17059 - 08/11/03 04:27 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
rcvecc Offline

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 608
Loc: east haven ct
whats up big will,your post seems to suggest that people who spend a few bucks on decent electronics are snobbish .not the case here,i noticed on some posts that you can tell good beer or cogniac(spell check) from bad ones,i am not a big drinker,and i am not able to tell good quality liquer from bad because im not really sure what qualities im looking for,so my point is,maybe the people that think that more expensive,or higher end audio gear is a waste- or there is no differance,really dont know what qualities to look for when it comes to sound...ron

#17060 - 08/11/03 04:41 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10623
Counsellor, tone down the paranoia. The right to express an opinion doesn't include a right to be taken seriously. We try to treat these things with a sense of humor when possible, but facts are facts. When someone claims that an item which is essentially identical when measured is somehow nevertheless better, the burden is on him to prove it. These beliefs have been put to the test of blind comparisons and when the nameplates and price tags have disappeared the differences in sound have likewise disappeared. Although, as always, it can be said that these matters are open to further investigation under controlled conditions, the common-sense, cost-effective position has to be that these benefits don't exist. We shouldn't support the gross exaggerations and outright scams that are unfortunately so prevalent in the AV business.

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.

#17061 - 08/11/03 05:22 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
Saturn Offline

Registered: 10/21/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: Toronto Ontario Canuck
Hello John;

In reply to:

These beliefs have been put to the test of blind comparisons and when the nameplates and price tags have disappeared the differences in sound have likewise disappeared

I heard countless times in this forum from the "experts" that there is evidence that disproves differences in amps, speaker wire and CD players. Where? All I have just seen are re-posting of older posting of these "experts"

I see more information in magazines, articles and forums about differences in such products. Go pick up a magazine and in every edition you will find a review of a product and they will go to say its remarkable or non remarkable qualities. Are you saying all the audio magazines reviews today are all snake oil?

If thats not good enough, have you or the experts personally tried the same blind test yourself. And I don't mean amps in the same range. A Denon will sound like a Yammy will sound like a Rotel. In this price range it is hard too tell. I mean has any of you tried in the same room a Mark Levinson, a Krell, a Pass Labs vs your Pioneer receiver , your Denon receiver using the same speakers. I have had a chance to do demo them. I also have had a chance to compare my Toshiba CD player vs a Rega Planet 2000 CD player and both have different sounds on the same speakers.

What I don't get is why some individuals can have so strong convictions based on other peoples studies or heresay. Unless they actually have tried those tests themselves, should it be better to keep your comment until you actually have tried it themselves. I think those individuals are very closed minded. And being in the "right" profession doesnt mean you know all there is on the audio subject.

_________________________ new HT

#17062 - 08/11/03 07:25 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
**The following post is my own and was neither endorsed nor encouraged by any other forum member.**

I second JohnK's assertion of your paranoia. I do not believe there is an organized assault on your position, so to speak. I would, however, like to draw attention to the fact that you are making a slow but sure departure from the basis of civility, which any form of constructive and open debate depends on.

I believe my posting history shows that I try to keep things light-hearted around here. I enjoy being the proverbial fence-sitter and not becoming deeply entrenched with either camp during debates. But in light of your recent post, I feel that I need to hold up a mirror for you.

You have said on more than one occasion that you are not attacking chess personally. The post to which I am replying is where you have crossed the line. Not only have you blatantly accused chesseroo of conspiring against you:
In reply to:

I'd guess that Chess has had the PM machine humming and asked you to jump in here and "defend" him.

but you have also asked that any PMs from him be made public:
In reply to:

why don't you post the PMs you received from Chess asking you to join in this discussion so we can get this whole thing out in the open?

which would immediately alienate chess while also ostensibly seeking to support your conspiracy theory.

Sending PMs comes with a tacit agreement that what is passed between parties will remain private. This is one of the main reasons the PM feature exists. Asking people to breach that trust is not only low, but reprehensible.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#17063 - 08/11/03 08:52 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
sushi Offline

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
I have to throw my $0.02 on Carl Sagan's excellent essay that Ken linked to above. As usual, the essay is wonderfully articulate and accurately conveys to general audience the concept of healthy skepticism which is so important in all scientific thought processes. However, as much as he is methodologically correct, he is still proclaiming his own "faith" when he categorically states: "Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder" and "Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion."

As I previously stated elsewhere in this forum, it is usually impossible to scientifically prove that Phenomenon X does NOT exist. All science can do is to demonstrate that you do NOT HAVE TO assume that Phenomenon X exists. This is the true essence of null hypothesis. Whether you still believe/think/feel that Phenomenon X exists when faced with "negative" results belongs to the domain of faith, not science.

Sagan's problem was that he had tried to assert his own worldview as a universal truth, based on the same methodological approach described in this essay -- obviously, however, the fundamental worldviews do not belong to the territory of scientific methodology. In addition, in my (rather radical) analysis, Sagan was so much entrenched in the don't-believe-it-until-proven slogan that it might have acted to deprive himself of true "imagination" as a scientist. Indeed, he was truly a great educator and visionary, but as a research scientist, he did not make a single breakthrough discovery.


Enough about Sagan; back to audio... My own view is that there is NO SINGLE "PUBLIC" DATA available, either objective (measurements) or subjective (listening tests), that convincingly demonstrate that there is a phenomenon of long-term speaker break-in (over 10's and 100's of hours), or that there are readily audible "sonic signatures" or sound differences among today's good-quality solid-state analog amps ("mid-fi" to "exotic high-end") or among correctly chosen, good-quality cables. All available is, in my definition, PERSONAL ANECDOTES rather than public data -- including all the "expert" subjective reviews published in reputable audiophile magazines.

I repeat that this does NOT prove that there is no audible difference among these gears. It belongs to your own faith how to take the available information. Science tells you no more here.

My own personal faith? -- Basically, I am neutral. While I've never personally experienced or been convinced that these "controversial" differences exist, I would like to be very careful in proclaiming that there SHOULD BE no differences. It also depends on the complexity of the system in question. At any rate, the cerebral geek in me always tends to demand a reasonable, logical explanation when it comes to one of these controversial topics. Incidentally, I don't have a 100% faith in my own ears, either -- while I do wish to believe what my ears hear, I always try to take it critically. If there is even a slightest doubt, I postpone to draw a conclusion. I am too aware of the well-established psycho-acoustic effects to blindly believe in my own ears.

My own personal anecdote? -- To be honest, I always wanted some assurance that my "mid-fi" electronics are not audibly degrading the sound quality of my system. Through this past 10 years or so, I did bring in my home several "higher-end" amps from dealers and friends, and compared the sound quality (instantaneous A/B whenever possible, but not always). The brands I've listened to in-home include Krell, Sunfire, Theta, and Simaudio -- some of these were VERY expensive. Again, these were never a blind testing; I knew what I was listening. In no case, however, I could convince myself that there was substantive difference in sound quality. Otherwise, I would have already bought some of these. I stopped doing this in the past year or two, simply because I've been "discouraged" enough.

In contrast, I am so fascinated with loudspeakers, because different brands sound so obviously different, even among very expensive ones. And I see every physical reason why speakers sound so different from each other.

#17064 - 08/11/03 08:53 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
PlainHaven Offline

Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 25
Loc: Ohio
Ay carumba!

While I agree with a number of posters that reading everyone's viewpoints is very interesting, from my perspective as a relative newcomer to these chats I'd sure hate to see an escalation of hard initial (and current) reaction is that y'all are kind of like an Axiom "family", and while family members disagree, at some point it might start to get counterproductive.

At the risk of sounding like a gol' darn empiricist, can anyone tell me if the kinds of studies we've talked about exist? (EDITED ADDED POINT: I JUST READ SUSHI'S NOTE ABOVE; LOOKS LIKE IF THEY EXIST, THEY'RE CERTAINTLY NOT IN THE MAINSTREAM!) At this point the points everyone's made seem more like empirical questions to be answered than anything else, and I'd love to hear if any of these studies have been done...otherwise almost seems like a fourth topic to add to "that list of things you might as well not talk about". But of course, I could be wrong. THAT's happened a whole BUNCH of times.

Part of the reason that I'd like to see these studies is because I'm one of the jillion people that thought Bose was the be-all, end-all in home audio, mainly because of their admittedly superb marketing. So, feeling a bit stung, I suppose I'm more motivated to find the "truth" in this area than I was say, a year ago.

In any case, I appreciate everyone's perspectives and enjoy these boards...I'm learning a lot and it's been very helpful (and fun).

Take care y'all.


Edited by PlainHaven (08/11/03 09:01 PM)

#17065 - 08/11/03 09:47 PM Re: Ah! Tubed CDPs
OGS20 Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 65
Loc: TO
Back to some audio talk

2x6, the FIRST thing I ask about when I buy a CDP is the transport (warranty). I had a old Philips portable CDP, old Technics discman, previous Sansui CDP, and now my current NAD, all died/are dying from transport failures -- although my old players died after 500000 hours of use , unlike that POS NAD.

In regards to the Ah! player, if I'm allowed to take a wild guess at things -- it's the exact opposite of what a 555/777 ES Sony CDP sound like? I've heard that the Sonys are detailed, etc etc blah blah blah ... but I remembered auditioning (a long time ago) a Sony CDP with Inifiniti speakers and, even though there is a lot of "detail", it sounded artificial instead of "musical". (Back then I ended up with Tannoys, the aforementioned Sansui CDP and a OLD Fisher tube integrated).

And speaking of Fisher integrated how does your tiny tube amps do loud classical music?

As always, Happy listenin'

#17066 - 08/11/03 10:45 PM Re: Ah! Tubed CDPs
2x6spds Offline

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3121
Loc: CA, USA
Funny thing, I'd been using a 10 year old JVC 6 disc changer. Transports as well as it did in 1993. Didn't know that transports had become dodgy, didn't know to ask about their warranties. Go know. Now I'm waiting for them all to die.

Haven't heard the high end Sony CDPs, but read reports that these units can be modified to compete with some really high end units.

The Ah! + the 5 wpc ASL amp is a match made in heaven. Makes beautiful music. The ASL gets a bit lost in big symphonic pieces at higher volumes, but all in all, the Ah! + ASL + a pair of M22 like modified Michaura M55 speakers (Cardas silver wire inside, Jensen paper/oil caps, Caddock resistors, fuse removed) + Vance Dickason Titanic 10" subwoofer kit + Maple Audio Ambience Interconnects, Mapleshade Clearview Double Golden Helix Plus speaker wires, well, this combination of modestly priced components is as close to audio nirvana as I've heard, and I've listened to some really high buck systems.

Dunno which piece is responsible for which part of the wonderful synergy here, but the soundstage this thing throws is enormous - wide and tall. Source placement is spot on (if there's not too much going on). Female vocals, small jazz groups - sounds really close to a live performance in my living room.

This is by far the most listenable system I have.

A word on the high rez systems which sound great in their own rights, but different -

DVD Audio system

Sony STRDB 1070 receiver as a processor
(3) Onkyo M282 2 channel solid state amps
Toshiba SD9200 DVD-A player
(4) Michaura M55 speakers (spookily M22 like, same drivers)
(1) Merak MC6H center channel speaker (Axiom made)
(1) Dahlquist PDQ 1500 15" sub
(1) Klipsch LF10 sub (supposedly 1640 watt amp)

This system is incredible, powerful, enormous slam, sweet in its own right, but not as sweet as the 5 wpc tubie.

SACD System

Onkyo TXDS 797 receiver as a processor
Philips SACD 1000
Outlaw ICBM bass management module
Anthem PVA 5 amplifier for front 5 channels
Kenwood KA 9100 2 channel amp for back surrounds
M60 like Michaura M665 front L/R speakers
Gigantic Klipsch KLF 7 center
M50 like Michaura M66 side surrounds
Mission 77ds back surrounds
SVS 20-39 sub
Velodyne CHT 100 sub (subs are stereo output from the ICBM)

This system is great for big orchestral pieces, very different sounding from the rest.

All in all, best of these systems for kicking back and listening to music - 5 wpc tubie with Ah! etc.

But, honorable mention to the garage system - all used components - total cost about $240.

Mint Silver faced Pioneer SX850 receiver
10 year old JVC 6 disc changer
Dahlquist DQM 905 speakers
Kenwood SW300 sub with Dayton Titanic 10" replacement driver
This system is just terrific!!!

BTW, I've heard some Tannoys which sound incredibly good, and one of the sweetest tube amps I've ever heard was a slightly modified OLD Fisher.

For me, tube systems are better for listening to music. Sand systems better for Home Theater.
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

#17067 - 08/11/03 10:52 PM Re: Hear No Evil: another essay (to 2x6spds)
cblake Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/21/03
Posts: 80
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Well I'm glad that this thread has made a positive impact. I am a big fan of the Golden Mean, so I think the most severe deficiencies are typically at either end of the spectrum. I believe Aristotle pointed out that you should pick the extreme that is less objectionable and go from there. To me, this is the listening end, because I'm a consumer not an engineer of audio equipment.

The great thing about audiophilia is that you are free to take it as far as you like. My initial upgrades were because the sound would sometimes really bother me: a resonation at some frequency, a lack of volume, etc. My crappy DVD player sounded really edgy to me, especially in the treble, so I started to suspect it being a weak point. I upgraded to a Yamaha and was quite amazed. And believe when I say that DVD player did not have a flat frequency response!

If you feel no urge to upgrade, then you are going to be one of the happier audiophiles. Tying back to the frequency response of amps, I don't believe it's substantial, but what's more important is the resolution of the amp. Every component puts a limit on the resolution and soundstaging: my CD player & speakers are two big examples. I don't know how much benefit I'll get from upgrading my amp, and I may never know unless I hear something really sweet. For a while, I thought my Paradigm Mini Monitors were all the speaker I'd ever need, but just an occasional listen to my headphones / headphone amp showed me what potential lay untapped in the rest of my system.

Oh and Mikey, I find that sun-dried pebbles can sound a bit brittle, while submerged pebbles give me some satsifying whooompf in the bass without getting to sloppy.

Scientists get their fix by proving and measuring, while audiophiles get their fix by hearing the earth-shattering differences between components. As long as we spend more time listening to music, then we're all ahead of the game.. that is, unless your job involves hearing differences or measuring them.


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