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Zilch

"Good," "bad," "better," "worse," "accurate," "inaccurate"

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It's important to recognize and acknowledge that, when we are discussing preferences, we are in large part talking about ourselves, not speakers. There is merit in this, and it's fun; it's about us.

The difficulty arises with the erroneous assumption that our preferences are also definitive of speakers to any more substantive extent than what we believe we like or don't. For that, we must look elsewhere.... ;)

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It's important to recognize and acknowledge that, when we are discussing preferences, we are in large part talking about ourselves, not speakers. There is merit in this, and it's fun; it's about us.

The difficulty arises with the erroneous assumption that our preferences are also definitive of speakers to any more substantive extent than what we believe we like or don't. For that, we must look elsewhere.... ;)

Zilch,

Actually, I agree with both statements, and, probably to the chagrin of some fellow CSP members, I think we understand each other.

The degree of "difficulty" mentioned in your second statement, however, is where things are sure to get out of hand in a forum like this one. I was just wondering aloud if this is the place to, um, "explore" the implications therein.

Roy

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The degree of "difficulty" mentioned in your second statement, however, is where things are sure to get out of hand in a forum like this one. I was just wondering aloud if this is the place to, um, "explore" the implications therein.

CSP is about information, and there's no better place for that relating to vintage "East Coast" loudspeakers than here, in addition to the tributes and preferences discussed in other threads.

Clearly, there is merit in knowing the actual directivity of AR3a vs. AR2ax vs. AR4x, for example, as opposed to blathering about what we imagine that might be ad infinitum. There's plenty of implications to debate and discuss once we know the facts, which is a far more productive endeavor, in my view.

Is what I do definitive? Nope, but it's a start and a challenge for others to further expand the knowledge base; there are plenty of members having the ability to contribute to the fun.

[surely, there is also room for such pursuits here.... ;) ]

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Let's meet in the Mods and Tweaks section of the forum. I've done some further comparisons between the AR-2ax and E'wave, and have some observations and questions to discuss.

No problem.

As Carl suggests, we have data on scarce few samples affording merely a suggestion of how they might more generally be. I'd sure feel more confident about my own findings if Atkinson had measured Shacky's AR3a's and published his data. Ironically, we have a better handle on AR4x at this point, and I'm about to generate more data on those....

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... now that it has been firmly established that old AR speakers have rather poor high frequency response, and worse dispersion;...
substitute "less" for "poor" and "worse" when compared to contemporary designs, then i'm with you, but i'll also say that not as much high frequency response and dispersion may very well be "better".
... and likely do not have other qualities they have been touted to have...
specifically?

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substitute "less" for "poor" and "worse" when compared to contemporary designs, then i'm with you, but i'll also say that not as much high frequency response and dispersion may very well be "better".

Statistically, Toole defines "better" in terms of listener preferences. Whether that applies to each or any of us individually is another matter, but his life's work is worthy of consideration.

Other? Start with a big one: "ARs are accurate...." ;)

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Statistically, Toole defines "better" in terms of listener preferences. Whether that applies to each or any of us individually is another matter, but his life's work is worthy of consideration.

Other? Start with a big one: "ARs are accurate...." ;)

that last comment of yours, another back-handed swipe at AR that reveals an underlying bias against their contributions to audio.

why do you care so much what Toole says, more importantly, why should i care? what makes him the final authority on anything?

consider this: the only listener preference of any real importance is that of the individual.

define accurate.

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that last comment of yours, another back-handed swipe at AR that reveals an underlying bias against their contributions to audio.

Bah. I say the same about West Coast speakers like the quintessential JBL L100, and get the same heat.

It is your bias that's in high relief here.

why do you care so much what Toole says, more importantly, why should i care? what makes him the final authority on anything?

Toole's work is an "end run" cutting directly to a credible answer to your very question, "What is better?" in objective terms. Dig in; Speaker Dave provided a Cliff Notes synopsis right here in The Kitchen. Largely completed 25 years ago, it has garnered widespread acceptance as definitive in the field. Ignore it if you like, but....

define accurate.
This is only a dilemma for subjectivists who just can't get a grip on the fact that anything can be more absolute than their own opinion, in which conceit lies their only claim to credibility:

http://www.zaphaudio.com/evaluation.html

Move along now, folks -- there's nothing more to discuss here.... ;)

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=137618

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Bah. I say the same about West Coast speakers like the quintessential JBL L100, and get the same heat.

It is your bias that's in high relief here.

yet again you dodge the issue and rather than address it, you make only accusations against your detractor. it's plain what your bias is, whats mine?

Toole's work is an "end run" cutting directly to a credible answer to your very question, "What is better?" in objective terms. Largely completed 25 years ago, it has garnered widespread acceptance as definitive in the field. Ignore it if you like, but....

doesnt answer the question does it? so he did an end run, why should i care? widespread acceptance... within certain niche circles to be sure, but i never heard of Toole until you began chanting the mantra here. "better" as an objective term... i cant see how you can quantify that. i challenge you to do just that.

another dodge. the zaphaudio link i countered when you first posted it, and you've yet to respond to that counter. i'm going to wade through a series of posts to try and glean what you may or may not be referring to, i'm asking you to definitively put down right here so there is no question, your definition of "accurate".

if its all so cut and dried in your mind, you should find it easy to address any skepticism with straightforward responses. so start from the beginning, disassociate your inherent bias against AR and answer the following;

what makes Toole an authority on anything?

why should i give more weight to what he thinks is "better", than to what i think is "better"?

your definition of "accurate".

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it's plain what your bias is, whats mine?

Your bias is an erroneous assumption that I am biased against AR. I have never said anything which, given somewhat more than a superficial reactionary consideration, would substantiate such a view.

Example:

Zilch (provocatively): "They didn't know what they were doing."

Reactionary: "There, SEE, Zilch is obviously biased!"

Next sentence: "They were exploring uncharted territory in this 'study,' and in retrospect, by large measure, their findings did not support the hypothesis...."

what makes Toole an authority on anything?

The widespread acceptance and respect of his work accorded by this field of investigation, and the industry at large.

why should i give more weight to what he thinks is "better", than to what i think is "better"?

Because the findings of his work and that of others confirming them are statistically derivative of the opinions of thousands of you. If you made the effort to study it, you might even discover that there is minimal or no conflict with your own view.

your definition of "accurate".

In = out.

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If there are any additional technical points to be made by anyone, please get back to them now. If all the remaining participants are going to do is swap accusations of bias and dishonesty, it's time to shut down another discussion.

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substitute "less" for "poor" and "worse" when compared to contemporary designs, then i'm with you, but i'll also say that not as much high frequency response and dispersion may very well be "better".

specifically?

Sorry, Dingus...

I didn't mean to get you guys going. That post was tongue-in-cheek, as I was trying to make a point relating to Kitchen threads. I'm fine with "less" for "poor"or "worse". Of course, there is the matter of "as compared to what"? Zilch will be happy to answer that question, and we are off to the races (again) ;) . Who's On First? :lol:

In truth, I have found Zilch's measurements educational and revealing, as well as a confirmation of some suspicions I have had for awhile. It does not mean I no longer enjoy listening to AR speakers, or think less of them. I have come to accept the fact that all speakers have certain traits, and quirks. I enjoy exploring them. I believe we are all here for (mostly) the same reasons.

Roy

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i'm holding off on commenting further in this thread until i hear back from Gene.

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It does not mean I no longer enjoy listening to AR speakers, or think less of them.

Excellent point. There is nothing inherent in enhanced knowledge which should in any way diminish anyone's enjoyment or appreciation of the "subjects." On the contrary, it is out of respect for the knowledge itself that it is pursued by researchers such as myself, Pete, Dave, Ken, Carl, Roy, and countless others....

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It's important to recognize and acknowledge that, when we are discussing preferences, we are in large part talking about ourselves, not speakers. There is merit in this, and it's fun; it's about us.

The difficulty arises with the erroneous assumption that our preferences are also definitive of speakers to any more substantive extent than what we believe we like or don't. For that, we must look elsewhere.... :blink:

"It's important to recognize and acknowledge that, when we are discussing preferences, we are in large part talking about ourselves"

Then let me talk about myself. I enjoy the sound of real music...sometimes. It can be exquisite. It can also be torture. Eight rank amateur string players attempting the Mendelssohn Octet can sound more like a troupe of bagpipes than like a small string orchestra. One day a long time ago it was excruciating. The players had fun, I had t leave the house. But when it is at the other extreme, it can bring incomparable pleasure to me....at least insofar as my sense of hearing is concenred. I've listened to it all my life and I've even made attempts to play musical instruments myself. It requires a great deal of time and discipline to master an instrument and not everyone is capable of it. But music is unique. Listen to the same musician play the same piece six times in a row and you will hear six different performances. Each one is happens only once in all time. It is a direct communication from the composer and performer who conspire to reach the listener. Since verbal language is unnecessary to music, it is universal and according to Dr. Oliver Sachs, the neurologist who wrote the book Musicophilia, there is no evidence of any civilization or society in all recorded history or pre-history going back 50,000 years that did not have some form of music. It seems to have a direct connection to the human nervous system in ways that are not understood but is evidently very important to our species.

I also like listening to recordings of music. I've listened to them all of my life too. You can hear what you want when you want it. But for the pleasure of the sound alone, for me it always comes off as second best, and usually a very poor second best. The pursuit of duplicating the aural experience so far has eluded our science. For me recordings are not the same as music. They produce merely a facsimile of the real thing. Music IMO is made by human beings even where the instrument is an intermediary. The sound from recordings no matter how good is still a mechanical contrivance lacking a vital human element. The machine is a filter between people, a filter in time and space, and so far in sound as well.

"It does not mean I no longer enjoy listening to AR speakers, or think less of them."

In fact it doesn't. Enjoyment of sensory experience requires no knowledge or analytical skills. You don't need to be Robert Parker to enjoy a great bottle of wine every bit as much as he does. Enjoyment of sensory experience is independent of knowledge. What's more, enjoyment is in the ear of the beholder. Somone listening to a primitive reed flute made out of a hollowed piece of wood played in a cave 50,000 years ago may have enjoyed it as much as would I enjoy listening to James Gallway playing the Mozart flute concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Boston Symphony hall. In some ways the attempt to put a number on enjoyment the way "experts" rate wine is a bit absurd.

"Excellent point. There is nothing inherent in enhanced knowledge which should in any way diminish anyone's enjoyment or appreciation of the "subjects." On the contrary, it is out of respect for the knowledge itself"

Independent of the enjoyment of sound is this other aspect which has evolved into a kind of cult and culture all its own that is taken out of all rational perspective by those so involved in it they can't see the forest for the trees. The emotional investment in the creations of technology in this one industrial effort strikes me as bizarre. As for respect, I respect the effort that has been expended and I think the original goals of pursing technology of perfecting this once removed experience of music is a worthwhile one if not quite as important as other efforts in technology (it was not important enough to me to make it my life's work but it was important enough to make it one of my favorite hobbies.) Insofar as the knowledge that has been accumulated to date regarding this pursuit, in some ways it is impressive. But in critial ways of achieving that goal, it has fallen very far short. I am glad to acknowledge the contributions that have been made if they are genuine such as those by Villchur, Allison, Kloss, and others who perfected contributions to technology such as solid state electronics and the digital compact disc. Even vacuum tube technology, the long playing phonograph record, and the dynamic loudspeaker in earlier eras. But I am not willing to exaggerate those accomplishments in light of the remaning large gap between what has been done and what remains to be done if the goal is ever to be achieved. Nor am I willing to confer any special respect on those who are mere tinkerers or market pollsters looking to find every minor variant of prior knowledge and with their accomplices in the commercial press to promote their sales to consumers by praising them falsely as breakthroughs or even progress. I know what real scientific research is about also having had direct exposure to it all of my life and most of what passes for it in this industry doesn't bear even a faint resemblance to it. In other words, the wheels on the car became round enough a long time ago, it would be nice if someone invented an engine that works so that it could start moving on them.

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Excellent point. There is nothing inherent in enhanced knowledge which should in any way diminish anyone's enjoyment or appreciation of the "subjects." On the contrary, it is out of respect for the knowledge itself that it is pursued by researchers such as myself, Pete, Dave, Ken, Carl, Roy, and countless others....

This should be a true statement, and in a perfect world, it would be.

However, in any hobby which has passionate followers, just the opposite is often—not always, but often—the case.

Many aficionados of a particular brand or a particular design approach like the equipment because of their perception that the aspect of the design to which they’re attracted is contributing to their enjoyment of the sound.

Example: A given individual (Consumer Joe) may think that an acoustic suspension woofer is “tighter,” or “faster,” or “more accurate” than a ported or bandpass design. When they listen to their prized model “Sealed XYZ,” part of their enjoyment and satisfaction is derived from their feeling that it is the sealed aspect of the design that is sounding good to them. Related to that, and usually inextricably intertwined with that, is the ego gratification that their choice of such a design has led directly to their satisfaction.

Or, say, Consumer Joe may have read some reviews, some literature, and come to the conclusion that Product A has some other attribute that they see as beneficial and logical. Perhaps that attribute is “wide dispersion” from a forward-facing speaker. Further, it could be that Product A has a reputation for “accuracy” and a “non-exaggerated, non-fatiguing high end.”

This all makes sense to Consumer Joe, who fancies himself as kind of a logical, engineering-type (even though he’s really an accountant or an insurance salesman). The ads, the lit, the reviews all appeal to him, as a person. It’s more than merely the product performance itself. Much more.

This is how most people’s psyches work. It’s not right or wrong, good or bad. It’s simply a recognition of how people think, the mental processes they go through, and the way they react.

Now, throw in Consumer Joe’s face new, contrary information that tears down all he’s believed in all along the way, and casts serious doubt that what he’s hearing is what he thinks he’s hearing and…..he’s not going to be happy at all.

So-called “enhanced knowledge” will not be seen as helpful new information. It will be seen instead as a direct affront to Consumer Joe’s personal intellect; indeed, maybe even a direct attack on Consumer Joe’s personal belief system on a fundamental level.

A passionate, closely-followed hobby is one area in life where someone gets to be the “expert.” There are no intimidating bosses who’ve kept Consumer Joe down all his life, there are no missed financial opportunities, there are no botched social encounters. The Passionate Hobby is where Consumer Joe is King of his Domain. He’s no. 1, the Big Cheese, the Head Honcho. If he has chosen his Product A’s because of what he has studied, what he has ‘learned,’ and it sounds to him the way he perceives it to sound based on what he believes, then newly-discovered “enhanced knowledge” of Product A’s fatal shortcomings will not sit well with Consumer Joe.

On the contrary, Consumer Joe will either deny the verity of the “enhanced knowledge” or lash out at the purveyor of that “knowledge” as having negative motives and bad intentions.

That’s just how human emotional/ego behavior works. And, BTW, Consumer Joe is not automatically wrong to ascribe such negative motives to the bearer of the bad news: Another aspect of human behavior is the delight some take in pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes—even when the Emperor is wearing a classic suit of exquisite beauty.

Sports, audio, photography, cars, boating, woodworking, music, you name it. There are Consumer Joes in all fields, and people who supposedly provide “enhanced knowledge,” which is sometimes valid and sometimes not.

Steve F.

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There are Consumer Joes in all fields, and people who supposedly provide “enhanced knowledge,” which is sometimes valid and sometimes not.

Not to mention sometimes desired and sometimes not, regardless of whether or not it is valid. For example, a forum devoted to reviews of steakhouse restaurants or how to cook the perfect hamburger is an inappropriate place to repeatedly post information about the unhealthful aspects of consuming red meat, even if all your data is completely valid. The fact that a venue addresses one aspect of a subject does not automatically make discussions of all aspects of that subject topical.

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Joe's fallacious imaginings that his particular pleasures and preferences so validate the premise(s) of which they are derivative as to elevate these to the level of truths are conceits in HIS service, not that of the hobby.

The hobby does not belong to Joe; there are others for whom expanding its knowledge base is a primary source of THEIR enjoyment, and the mere likelihood that Joe may find this disconcerting or disruptive of his perceptions should not deter them. On the contrary, it would be far more productive for Joe to support their efforts wholeheartedly, for therein lie the greatest potential for substantive approbation of his own perspective.... :blink:

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Not to mention sometimes desired and sometimes not, regardless of whether or not it is valid. For example, a forum devoted to reviews of steakhouse restaurants or how to cook the perfect hamburger is an inappropriate place to repeatedly post information about the unhealthful aspects of consuming red meat, even if all your data is completely valid. The fact that a venue addresses one aspect of a subject does not automatically make discussions of all aspects of that subject topical.

That's not what we do, and it should now be clear there's more than one of us dedicated to these endeavors.

This forum purports to be about information, yet you once again invite its purveyors to leave?

[Who you gonna call? :blink: ]

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That's not what we do, and it should now be clear there's more than one of us dedicated to these endeavors.

This forum purports to be about information, yet you once again invite its purveyors to leave?

[Who you gonna call? :blink: ]

CSP "purports" to be about information on the maintenance, repair and restoration of classic New England speakers. Other forms of "information" end up here in the Kitchen, which "purports" to be an alternative forum that Mark created to put discussions that members have repeatedly requested be removed from other forums

Nobody is suggesting that people who would like to discuss speaker design theories should leave. Those who cannot do so in a civil manner are another matter.

And since this discussion has once again drifted off the stated topic ("Good," "bad," "better," "worse," "accurate," "inaccurate") to veiled accusations and judgemental comments about the motivations of other posters, guess what? It's closed too.

Stay on topic.

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