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Blind Listening Tests

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#322612 - 09/15/10 01:38 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6772
Loc: It's all about the location.
There were 3 doors to the listening room, iirc. One of them must have been ok, but I don't really know.
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

#322616 - 09/15/10 01:44 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
BobKay Offline

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 3541
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
I found it quite distracting to hear sound coming from the listenting room next door during the first seminar.

So, to insure that wouldn't happen again, I saw to it that I was making all the noise during seminars 2 & 3.

Much betterer.
I picked up dog chews at the store. Made in Cambodia. I thought, "dog-eat-dog." I put them back.

#322623 - 09/15/10 02:03 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BobKay]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8462
Loc: Tacoma
Thanks, Bob. You are a true team-player.

It was a fascinating exercise. As others have mentioned, it was far more difficult than I anticipated, probably because I found very little difference between the two speakers relative to either midrange clarity or bass extension.

The two primary differences that stood out for me were the quality and smoothness of the treble, and the spaciousness of the imaging.

I found that speaker B (later identified as the M3) was quite a bit "bigger" on most recordings.

As to the treble response, speaker A seemed overly "hard" to me on a number of selections, to the point of being strident or unpleasant on hot recordings. Speaker B was far more forgiving, although perhaps slightly less "airy" sometimes.

Some strengths and weaknesses were only apparent on some tracks.

Overall, I preferred speaker B by a narrow margin, but regardless of price.

It really was an extraordinary opportunity to participate in a completely blind listening session like this.

I'm sure Ian greatly appreciated the chance to collect valid - and validating - data from an international panel of experts smile
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#322624 - 09/15/10 02:04 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BobKay]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16418
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
So you're a dom, then?
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#322625 - 09/15/10 02:11 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
alan Offline


Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3216
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight

I don't recall any gender differences in speaker ratings from listening tests at the National Research Council on the few occasions that women were on the listening panel. Also, when Debbie does the blind tests at Axiom, her ratings of good and bad speakers are similar to mine, Andrew's, Ian's, JC's, Brent's and other Axiom employees who participate in the tests.

I think a better way to phrase it is that women retain their high-frequency hearing well into old age, but that may be based on an earlier generation of women who were housewives and didn't work in industrial settings or noisy cities. It might be interesting to see data compiled from tests on younger women in the work force.

It might be a question to pose to Dr. Sean Olive, now chief of psycho-acoustics at Harman. They use lots of male and female listeners in their blind testing at the Harman lab. If any divergence in ranking had been noted there, I'm certain he would have written about it. Sean used to be on the listening panel at the NRC while he was working on his graduate degree.

Purely on an anecdotal basis, which doesn't count for much, I have encountered more than a few women who don't seem to like deep subwoofer bass. I'm not sure why, or whether any researcher has done solid scientific work on that. Perhaps it's an inherited protective thing through evolution, such as protecting children from the threat of earthquakes, eruptions, tsunamis, etc. I'm just speculating, but it's theorized that the fact our hearing is so ultra-sensitive in the midrange is not just because of speech but also in eons past, we needed that as a protective measure to detect intruders (snapping of twigs in the bush and so on) and possible danger.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

#322627 - 09/15/10 02:23 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: alan]
Ya_basta Offline

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4208
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
I'm just making a joke. We talked in the office about getting me in and there wasn't enough room through the main door, and the back door was blocked with stuff.

No deal at all, just another walkie jab grin .
The only reasonable argument for owning a gun is to protect yourself from the police.

#322636 - 09/15/10 03:03 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: alan]
Adrian Offline

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6772
Loc: It's all about the location.
Thanks for that explanation Alan.

I also thought that maybe nature gave women a more acute hearing sense to protect their young children as well, or to hear their baby(s) if it were in danger for instance.
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

#322639 - 09/15/10 03:07 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
CatBrat Offline

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Naaa. It's just so they can hear their husbands snoring at night so they can torment them.

#322649 - 09/15/10 03:26 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Ya_basta]
MarkSJohnson Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11371
Loc: Central NH
Freakin' walkies. I hate us SOOO much! [/homer]

How funny is this? I glance through the Home Theater magazine that came in today's mail, and they're reviewing the same B&W speakers (though in 5.1 configuration) and, at $14,500, they call it a "Top Pick" and give it five stars for value!!! Should I write them and ask if they shouldn't A/B a pair of M3s with those before they rate the "value"? smile

Didn't take the time to pull out a scanner:

::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

#322652 - 09/15/10 03:32 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
medic8r Offline

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6459
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
My God, that's insane.

I say we all email them their testicles.
Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

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